Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The number of job openings in the United States has fallen to a two-year low, the Labor Department said Tuesday.
There were just 6.4 million openings in the month of December -- the lowest figure since December 2017.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary report also showed the figure was down 4 percent from November and 15 percent over the last 12 months.
Some of the greatest decreases were seen in transportation, warehousing, real estate, rental and education jobs, Tuesday's figures showed. In manufacturing, vacancies have seen a 24 percent decline year-over-year. Most of the declines were seen in the South and Midwest.
The report said the hire rate and separations increased slightly in December.
Federal Reserve policymakers watch the report as an indicator of employment trends.
Experts say the figures could indicate an economic slowdown.
"Net, net, job openings around the country are plummeting in a way that, we hate to say, looks like a recession," Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank, said.