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Job openings declined in January but still far outnumber available workers


A “Now Hiring” sign is displayed on a shopfront on October 21, 2022 in New York City.Leonardo Munoz | View Press | Corbis News | Getty ImagesJob openings declined slightly in January but still far outnumber available workers as the labor picture remains tight, according to data released Wednesday.The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, showed there are 10.824 million openings, down some 410,000 from December, the Labor Department reported. That equates to 1.9 job openings per available worker.related investing news Despite the decline, the total was still higher than the FactSet estimate of 10.58 million. December’s number also was revised up by more than 200,000.Federal Reserve officials watch the JOLTS report closely as they formulate monetary policy. In remarks on Capitol Hill this week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell called the jobs market “extremely tight” and cautioned that a recent spate of data showing resurgent inflation pressures could push interest rate hikes higher than expected.Powell told the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday that the JOLTS report was one critical data point he will be examining before making a decision on rates at the March 21-22 policy meeting.The JOLTS report showed that hiring was brisk for the month, with employers bringing on 6.37 million workers, the highest total since August.Total separations were little changed, while quits, a signal of worker confidence in mobility, fell to 3.88 million, the lowest level since May 2021. Layoffs, however, rose …

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