US job openings fell in December


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in December, and hiring slowed, adding to evidence that the job market weakened that month.

Still, the number of available jobs remained near a 51/2-year high. The Labor Department said Tuesday that openings slipped 1 percent to 3.99 million in December, from 4.03 million in the previous month. November was the first time that employers had posted more than 4 million open jobs since March 2008.

Total hiring fell to 4.4 million from 4.5 million in November, according to Tuesday’s report. Though job openings are mostly back to pre-recession levels, hiring is below the roughly 5 million a month that’s typical for a healthy market.

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