WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. job openings and overall hiring both rose to five-year highs in September, signaling improvement in the job market.
The Labor Department says job postings rose 69,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.9 million. That's the most since March 2008, just a few months after the Great Recession began.
Total hiring rose 26,000 to 4.6 million, the highest level since August 2008. The increase suggests employers are not only posting more jobs but are also taking greater steps to fill them. September's total hiring is still below the roughly 5 million people who are typically hired each month in healthier job markets.
The competition for jobs is also easing. There were 2.88 unemployed people, on average, for each available job in September. That's also the lowest since August 2008.