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Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. job market remains strong, with more job openings than unemployed people seeking a job, but companies are starting to put some hiring plans on hold.

The big picture: The U.S. had 7.05 million job openings at the end of August, the Labor Department reported on Wednesday, but after torrid increases over the past 2 years, the number of jobs businesses have to offer is beginning to turn lower, but not because firms are filling the positions.

  • The Labor Department's job openings and labor turnover survey, or JOLTs, showed the number of job openings was 4.4% lower than it was a year earlier, falling for the third straight month.
  • The total number of workers hired to new jobs also was lower in August than in the same month in 2018.

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Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months — Trump claims COVID "will go away" during debate.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: How to help save 130,000 livesFDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.
48 mins ago - Health

Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.

1 hour ago - Health

How to help save 130,000 lives

People wear face masks outside Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Nearly 130,000 fewer people will die of COVID-19 this winter if 95% of Americans wear face masks in public, according to research published Friday.

Why it matters: “Increasing mask use is one of the best strategies that we have right now to delay the imposition of social distancing mandates," Dr. Christopher Murray of the University of Washington told the N.Y. Times.