U.S. job openings in February reached highest rate on record

WASHINGTON — The pace of job openings reached the highest level on record in February, a harbinger of healthy hiring and a hopeful sign for those looking for work.

The job openings rate – which is the number of available jobs as a percentage of the employed and the open jobs, combined – rose to 4.9%, the highest since the data was first tracked in December 2000, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

The increase reflects a solid rise in open jobs to 7.4 million, up from 7.1 million in January and significantly above the pre-pandemic level of about 7 million. Total hires rose to 5.7 million, though that is below

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