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May 15, 2020, 10:41 a.m. EDT

U.S. job openings fell in March and layoffs soared, fresh data confirm

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By Jeffry Bartash

Job openings in the U.S. plunged during the coronavirus as tens of millions of Americans were thrown out of work, but the government's main for-hire tracker didn't capture most of the destruction in its most recent report for March. Job openings fell by 813,000 to 6.2 million at the end of March, marking the lowest level in almost three years, the government said Friday . Job openings are sure to sink much further in the April report. Layoffs shot up by 9.5 million to 11.4 million, reflecting a wave of job losses toward the end of the month as large chunks of the economy shut down and Americans were ordered to stay at home. The government last week reported that more than 20 million people lost their jobs in April, pushing the unemployment rate to almost 20% after adjusting for layoffs deemed temporary.

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