Decline in New Jobs Hints at Weakness in Otherwise Healthy Market
WASHINGTON — Businesses across the U.S. cut back in the number of new job openings they advertised in December, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.
The pullback, following a similar decline in November is seen by some economists as a sign that the hot job market may be cooling.
The department reported the number of available positions dropped 5.4% to 6.4 million, the lowest number of job openings in the past two years.
While the number of open jobs still surpasses the number of people who consider themselves unemployed, it represents a decline of 1 million available jobs in the past year.
The decline comes after job openings had hit the highest level on records dating back to December 2000.
Aside from the job openings, other measures of the labor market remain strong. The unemployment rate is 3.6%, near a half-century low, and employers added 225,000 jobs last month, a solid increase.
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