WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Job openings at U.S. workplaces rose to a record high of 5.36 million in May (data go back to the end of 2000) from 5.33 million in April, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Tuesday. Compared with same period in the prior year, May’s job openings rose 16%, as private-sector openings increased 16% to 4.85 million, and government positions rose to 511,000 from 430,000. With 8.67 million unemployed people in May, there were about 1.6 potential job seekers per opening, matching April’s ratio. In May 2014, there were about 2.1 potential seekers per opening. When the recession began in December 2007, there were about 1.8 potential job seekers per opening. The number of separations, such as quits and layoffs, dropped to 4.74 million in May from 4.9 million in April. Meanwhile, the total number of hires declined to 5 million from 5.03 million. The level of hires was about 5.04 million when the recession began.
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