Feb 8, 2011 10:44 AM by Nichole Larkey & AP
WASHINGTON (AP) - Job openings fell for the second straight
month in December, a sign that hiring is still weak even as the
economy is gaining strength.
The Labor Department says employers advertised nearly 3.1
million jobs that month, a drop of almost 140,000 from November.
That's the lowest total since September.
Openings have risen by more than 700,000 since they bottomed out
in July 2009, one month after the recession ended. That's an
increase of 31 percent.
But they are still far below the 4.4 million available jobs that
were advertised in December 2007, when the recession began.
Job openings dropped sharply in professional and business
services, a category that includes temporary help agencies. They
also fell in construction, manufacturing, and in education and