The job openings rate was 2.8% in January, unchanged from December and down from 3.0% in January 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday.

The rate fell to 2.9% in January from 3.0% in December in the private sector, while the government sector rate held at 2.0% in January.

The hiring rate fell to 3.3% from 3.4%, while the private sector hiring rate declined to 3.5% from 3.7%, and the government hiring rate held at 1.7%.

The separations rate fell to 3.1% from 3.2%, while the private sector separations rate remained to 3.5%, and the government rate held at 1.3%.

The quits rate was 1.8% in January, unchanged from December, while the private sector quits rate was 2.0%, also flat, and the government quits rate held at 1.3%

The layoffs and discharges rate was steady at 1.3%, as the private sector rate slipped to 1.4% from 1.5% and the government rate dipped to 0.3% from 0.4%, BLS said.

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