US employers post record high 6.6 million open jobs

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers advertised 6.6 million open jobs in March, the most on records dating back to December 2000, suggesting businesses want to staff up to meet strong demand.

The Labor Department says that job openings rose 7.8 percent in March from 6.1 million in February. Yet overall hiring slipped, while quits increased.

The number of open jobs in March matched the number of unemployed. That's historically unusual: Typically there are more unemployed than openings. Employers are struggling to fill jobs from a dwindling supply of those out of work. That should be pushing up wages, yet paychecks are growing at only a modest pace.

The number of people quitting rose 4.2 percent to 3.3 million, barely ahead of December's total and the highest since January 2001.