The numbers: Hiring and job openings in the private sector fell in August in a sign the U.S. labor market was cooling off as an economic recovery lost some of its earlier momentum, a government survey showed.
Businesses, governments and other organizations hired 5.9 million people in August, according to a Labor Department survey of the labor market that’s released with a one-month delay.
The number of people hired was basically unchanged from July, but the total was inflated by the addition of nearly 250,000 temporary workers hired by the U.S. Census for its once-in-a-decade national survey. Hiring in the private sector declined.
Job openings also slipped to 6.49 million from 6.7 million. The number of jobs available was running around 7 million a month before the coronavirus struck in March.
The number of separations — layoffs, firings, people quitting — fell to 4.59 million in August from 4.99 million