Government data show there are more than 2 million job openings, but nearly five people competing for each opening.
That's up sharply from a ratio of less than 2-to-1 in December 2007, when the recession was just starting, and there were nearly 4 million openings.
Jobs are being added in education, health care and the federal government. The Labor Department says the government added 9,000 new jobs last month alone. Even some banks are hiring, but mainly for their technology teams.
Human resources executives say companies that are hiring are benefiting from a top-notch talent pool as applications pour in from a larger base of job seekers.
The number of unemployed Americans soared, to 12.5 million last month. That's up from 7 million when the recession began.
The Associated Press