ECONOMY

US job openings increase slightly in September

U.S. employers posted slightly more job openings in September, a likely sign that the steady job gains of recent months could continue.

The Labor Department says job openings edged up to 5.49 million in September, a modest increase from 5.45 million openings in August. Openings had plunged to an eight-month low in August.

The data affirms recent evidence that hiring has been more tempered after setting a robust pace of the prior two years. Still, the economy is generating enough jobs to reduce unemployment and boost incomes. And most economists have expected monthly job growth to slow as the number of unemployed has decreased.

The pace of hiring slowed somewhat in September, but enough Americans felt optimistic about finding work that the number who quit their jobs rose.