WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - U.S. job openings dropped to a two-year low in December, while hiring increased marginally, suggesting a recent acceleration in job growth was unlikely to be sustained.
Job openings, a measure of labor demand, decreased 364,000 to 6.4 million, the lowest reading since December 2017, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, on Tuesday. The second straight monthly decline in job openings followed a 574,000 plunge in November, which was the biggest drop since August 2015.
Vacancies dropped by 14.9% in 2019.
The job openings rate declined to 4.0% in December from 4.3% in November. Hiring rose to 5.9 million in December from 5.8 million in November. The hiring rate edged up to 3.9% in December from 3.8% in the prior month.
The government reported last week that nonfarm payrolls surged by 225,000 jobs in January after increasing 147,000 in December. The unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.6% as more people entered the labor market, a sign of confidence in their job prospects. (Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)