U.S. employers posted the fewest jobs in eight months in August, a sign job gains will likely remain modest in the coming months.

The Labor Department says job openings dropped nearly 7 percent to 5.4 million, down from 5.8 million in July. That month's total had been a record, but was revised lower.

The data adds to recent evidence that hiring may be slowing a bit from the robust pace of the previous two years. Yet the economy is still generating enough jobs to lower the unemployment rate over time. And most economists have expected job gains to taper as the number of unemployed has dwindled.

The biggest declines in job openings occurred in professional and business services, which includes accountants and engineers as well as temp workers, and manufacturing.