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Job openings drop, raising further concerns about labor market

Rick Bowmer / AP

People wait in a line at a job fair in Oregon. Government data showed that jobs openings dropped to a five-month low in April.

Job openings declined in April to a five-month low, according to government data released Tuesday, as employers wrestled with worries about the European financial crisis, government deadlock in Washington and other data showing the recovery stumbling.

The Labor Department reported that there were 3.4 million jobs openings on the last day of April, down from 3.7 million in March. The drop was across many industries and professions.

"Job openings decreased for total nonfarm, total private, and government as well as in manufacturing, professional and
business services, and state and local government," The Labor Department said in a statement.

Given that there were 12.5 million Americans unemployed in April, that would mean 3.7 job-seekers for each opening that month, versus 3.4 for each opening in March.