Job openings dropped sharply in September, a sign that hiring is likely to remain weak over the next several months.
The Labor Department says employers advertised 2.9 million jobs at the end of September, a drop of 163,000, or 5.3 percent, from the previous month.
The figures come after the department issued a modestly positive employment report on Friday. That report found that employers added a net total of 151,000 jobs in October, more than most economists expected.
August's total openings were revised downward to just below 3.1 million. Available jobs have now fallen for two straight months.
Layoffs in the private sector, meanwhile, fell for the second straight month to their lowest level in four years.