NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Job openings weakened in April as companies remained bearish on the economic outlook, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs openings dropped to 2.97 million, down 100,000 from March, which was a peak month since the 2008 financial crisis began.

The number of job openings was 549,000 higher than the end of the recession in June 2009, but was still well below the 4.4 million reported at the very beginning of the recession in December 2007.

Year-over-year numbers increased for the private industry, but government openings in April compared to last year decreased to 315,000 from 647,000, impacted by the large number of workers needed to conduct the 2010 Census.

The data comes a week after unemployment ticked up to 9.1%.

The hiring rate remained virtually unchanged at 3.0% after a slight drop from 3.1% in March.

The measure that determines a worker's willingness or ability to change jobs known as the "quit" rate, was unchanged for total nonfarm (1.4%), total private (1.6%) and government (0.5%) in April.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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