US hiring reaches six-month high in June as employers fill more open jobs; quits also rise

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U.S. employers filled more of their available jobs in June, evidence that steady if modest economic growth is putting more Americans to work.

The Labor Department says total hiring rose 2.3 percent to 5.18 million in June, the highest in six months and second-highest total since the recession ended in June 2009.

Employers posted fewer job openings, but that figure has risen strongly in the past year. And more people quit their jobs, which is a good sign because many people quit when they have new jobs lined up, typically at higher pay. More hiring, quitting and healthy levels of job openings should pressure companies to lift wages.

Job gains have been strong for the past two years but sluggish pay gains remain a weak spot in the economy.