U.S. employers advertised slightly more job openings in May and total hiring increased, further signs of steady improvement in the job market.
The Labor Department says job openings rose 28,000 to 3.83 million in May from April. That's close to February's 3.9 million, which was the highest in five years.
A measure of gross hiring, which includes hiring in May but does not subtract layoffs or quits, increased 46,000 to 4.4 million. That's still lower than a year ago.
The job market remains competitive, despite stronger hiring this year. There are nearly 3.1 unemployed, on average, for each open job. That's down from a peak four years ago of nearly 7 to 1. In a healthy economy, the ratio is typically 2 to 1.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.