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 five and a half-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. While 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.
Job gains slowed in January for the second straight month, according to last week's monthly employment report.