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Job openings decline to 2.8 million in January

Job openings decline to 2.8 million in January (by Ruth Mantell)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Job openings at U.S. workplaces declined to 2.8 million in January from 2.9 million in December, the Labor Department reported Friday. Openings have gained about 15% in the past year. There were about 4.4 million jobs open when the recession began in December of 2007. With about 13.9 million unemployed people in January, there were five potential job seekers for each opening. The number of separations, such as quits and layoffs, fell to 3.6 million in January from 3.8 million in December. Meanwhile, the total number of people hired fell to 3.7 million from 3.9 million, with private hiring down to 3.5 million from 3.6 million.