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Job openings rose in June, though levels are low

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By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Employers posted more job openings in June, a sign that hiring could improve a bit in the coming months.

The Labor Department says the number of available jobs rose to 3.1 million, up from 3 million in May. It was the highest total since March.

Roughly 4.5 unemployed people, on average, were competing for each available job in June. That's down slightly from 4.6 in May. In a healthy economy, the ratio is about 2 to 1.

June's total number of openings was higher than the 2.1 million posted in July 2009, one month after the recession officially ended and the lowest total since the government began recording the data a decade ago. But it is also significantly below the 4.4 million openings in December 2007, when the recession began.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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