U.S. job openings, hiring hit five-year highs in September

U.S. job openings in September grew by 69,000 from the year before to 3.9 million, one of the highest levels since 2008, signaling the economy has continued expanding moderately, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Since September 2012, the number of job openings grew 8.6% from 3.6 million. The Labor Department's report also found that hiring hit a five-year high in September, reaching 4.6 million. That's up from 4.2 million the year before.

While an improvement, the number of hires is still below the 5-million mark regarded as a benchmark during a healthy economy.

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Total separations -- the number of workers who quit or are laid off -- rose slightly to 4.4 million, up from 4 million the year before, an indication that the labor market is improving. Typically, Americans are likely to quit and look for new jobs when they feel there are enough jobs available. 

On Friday, the Labor Department also reported that the unemployment rate fell in 28 states last month. California's unemployment rate now stands at 8.7%, down from 8.9% when the last jobs report was released. 

The Golden State has added a net 207,300 positions since October 2012. 


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