Governments advertised far fewer jobs in January, offering the latest sign that cuts at the state and local level could slow hiring this year.
There were 2.76 million job openings at the end of January, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s down by 161,000, or 5.5 percent, from December’s revised total.
Half of the decline was the result of fewer state and local government positions. Those job openings dropped by 80,000, to 239,000 – the lowest level of state and local openings since last September. Openings at the federal, state and local levels fell by 115,000, a 27 percent decline for that sector. The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey also showed that available jobs in the private sector declined 1.8 percent, to 2.45 million.