The number of job openings fell in July and new hires remained at a low level, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday. The news follows a disappointing jobs report Friday that showed the economy adding just 169,000 jobs in August.

The number of job openings fell slightly from 3.87 million in June to 3.69 million in July, according to the BLS' Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The number of new hires inched up from 4.32 million to 4.42 million.

In some good news, the rate of layoffs remained stuck near an all-time low in July at 1.1 percent.

And the quit rate, which many economists view as a proxy for workers' confidence in the job market, continues to inch up.

Here is the rate of job openings:

And hires:

Members of the Federal Reserve look at the rates of hiring and quits as leading indicators of the jobs situation. Given that the August jobs report cast some doubt on the possibility that the Fed will scale back its bond-buying program at its meeting next week, the data from the JOLTS report take on added significance. But the message is the same, namely that the labor market is slowly healing, but still depressed.