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US job openings total 5.5 million in September

A pedestrian walks by a 'now hiring' sign at a KFC restaurant in San Francisco.
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A pedestrian walks by a 'now hiring' sign at a KFC restaurant in San Francisco.

Job openings were little changed in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday.

Job openings came in at 5.5 million in September, according to the JOLTS report, a measure of job openings and labor turnover in the U.S. The job openings rate for September was 3.7 percent.

Job openings rose over the year for several industries with the largest gains in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, and retail trade. The increases were also seen across all geographic regions in the country.

The number of hires in September was 5 million, at a rate of 3.5 percent.

There were 1.7 million layoffs and discharges, little changed from August. The layoffs and discharges rate remained at 1.2 percent.

JOLTS, a closely-followed barometer of labor conditions, measures employee movements in non-farm, private businesses and government, as well as job hires and separations in different industries.