Job openings rose to 5.5 million in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday morning, enough that there are now fewer unemployed workers for each job opening than any time since 2001.

That is the second-highest total number of advertised vacancies since records were first kept in 2000, following July's 5.7 million mark. There had been just under 5.4 million openings in August.

The increase in job openings meant that the number of unemployment workers for each vacancy fell to 1.43 for the month, the lowest such ration since May of 2001. Then, the economy was just transitioning from the peak of the dotcom bubble into a recession.

Hiring, however, was flat in the month, at just over 5 million. Although the number of advertised openings is up 20 percent on the year, the number of actual hires was lower than in September of last year.

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