Job openings outnumbered the unemployed by more than 2 million in July as companies struggled to fill a record number of vacancies, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which the Federal Reserve watches closely for signs of slack in employment, showed 10.9 million positions open. That was much higher than estimates of 9.9 million, and also the June total of 10.18 million.

That number swamped the 8.7 million level of those out of work and looking for jobs in July. JOLTS data runs a month behind the regular nonfarm payrolls report, which reported growth of 1.05 million for July.

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