US hiring plunged in December even as job openings ticked up

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers cut back sharply on hiring in December, particularly in pandemic-hit industries such as restaurants and hotels, as soaring virus infections and government restrictions weakened the economy that month. The number of available jobs rose slightly and layoffs fell, according to the Labor Department’s Tuesday report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS. The report provides more granular detail about the job market than the government’s monthly employment figures.