Job openings at U.S. workplaces declined to 4.99 million in March from 5.14 million in February, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Tuesday. Compared with same period in the prior year, March's job openings rose 19%, as private-sector openings increased 19% to 4.51 million, and government positions rose to 488,000 from 415,000. With 8.58 million unemployed people in March, there were about 1.72 potential job seekers per opening, above February's ratio of 1.69. In March 2014, there were 10.38 million unemployed people -- about 2.47 potential seekers per opening. When the recession began in December 2007, there were about 1.77 potential job seekers per opening. The number of separations, such as quits and layoffs, rose to 4.98 million in March from 4.79 million in February. Meanwhile, the total number of hires inched up to 5.07 million from 5.01 million. The level of hires was about 5.04 million when the recession began.
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