Employers are searching for more workers.
In June, they advertised the most monthly job openings in more than 13 years, the government reported Tuesday. Employers posted 4.67 million jobs that month, up 2.1 percent from May's total of 4.58 million, according to the Labor Department. The number of advertised openings was the highest since February 2001, suggesting that hiring should continue to be solid in the coming months.
Still, the openings report showed that the hiring rate has not risen over the past year as quickly as the number of positions being advertised.
Job openings have increased 17.6 percent during the past 12 months, while hiring has risen 9.3 percent during the same period.
Yet the monthly net job gains have been solid in the past six months.
Employers added 209,000 jobs in July, the sixth straight month of job gains above 200,000. The economy has now produced an average 244,000 jobs a month since February.
The recent spurt of hiring has encouraged more people to start looking for work, causing the unemployment rate to inch up to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent. The government only counts people searching for jobs as unemployed.
Hiring has yet to boost wages by much. Wage growth has slightly outpaced inflation since the recession ended more than five years ago.
But the greater the number of people with jobs, the greater the total number of paychecks, which could drive consumer spending and growth.