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Job openings hit record high of 7.3 million in December

The number of job openings hit a record high of 7.3 million in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday in a sign of the labor market’s strength.

The previous high was set in August. Data goes back to the year 2000.

The private sector drove the new record, with private entities accounting for 6.7 million job vacancies — also a record high. The construction industry recorded 382,000 new posts, far more than ever before.

Actual hiring was not quite as strong, at 5.6 million, up from 5.4 million the month before.

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