Job openings in the U.S. were up by 81,000 to 3.69 million in January, accompanied by an increase in hiring and a decrease in firings, according to the Labor Department. The numbers will likely make way for the nation's unemployment rate of 7.7% to decrease through this year and they suggest that companies expect demand to be strong. "We’ve got a long way to go to get back to a fully employed economy, but we are on the road," said James Glassman, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase.Bloomberg
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Illinois has agreed to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission over charges that the state failed to disclose to investors the risks of buying $2.2 billion in municipal bonds from 2005 to 2009. Illinois currently suffers from a pension deficit of $98.6 billion, which makes it the worst-funded state pension program in the country.CNBC/Reuters
What a Facebook user "likes" can indicate a lot about that person, including religious beliefs, politics, even sexual orientation. A new Facebook application called "My Personality" gathers and correlates a user's "likes" to compile a profile of the user. Some of the results are intuitive -- Democrats tend to "like" Stephen Colbert and Republicans tend to "like" Rush Limbaugh. However, some connections are less obvious, such as determining that a person is likely to be a smoker by the rock bands he or she follows.Science News
China has announced plans to tax second homes at a 20% capital gains rate. The action prompted many couples to rush through divorces so they could register their properties under separate ownership before the new tax rate went into effect.The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model)/Reuters
SmartBrief's inside look at #SXSW SmartBrief is attending the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, with tweeting @SmartBrief and blogging at SmartBlogs. Here's some of our coverage so far.