SHARECOMMENTMORE

WASHINGTON -- U.S. employers posted the most job openings in four years in June, a positive sign that hiring may pick up.

The Labor Department says job openings rose to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million in June, up from 3.7 million in May. That's the most since May 2008. Layoffs also fell.

The data follow Friday's report that said employers in July added the most jobs in five months. A rise in openings could signal better hiring in the coming months. It typically takes one to three months to fill a job.

Even with the increase, hiring is competitive. There were 12.7 million unemployed people in June, or an average of 3.4 unemployed people for each job. In a healthy job market, the ratio is usually around 2 to 1.

CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP Economics Writer