Advertised job openings hit a new record high of 5.4 million in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report released Tuesday showed seasonally-adjusted job openings ticking up from a 5.33 million in April to 5.36 million. Both numbers are the highest since records were first kept in 2000.
Most of the indicators in Tuesday's report, however, were flat.
Hires fell by a mere 34,000 to 5 million. Hiring has yet to return to its pre-recession highs, when some months saw upward of 5.4 million new jobs
The quits rate held steady at 1.9 percent of workers. Higher quits are viewed as a sign of labor market health, as workers are confident enough to leave their jobs. The pre-recession average was about 2.1 percent.
The statistics released Tuesday include data on gross job openings, hiring, and layoffs and other separations. They complement and add detail to the more widely watched net monthly job numbers, also published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Those numbers have shown resilient job growth over the first half of 2015, although slightly slower than in 2015. Net payroll gains, measured in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly survey of businesses, have averaged 221,000 a month over the past three months.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey data are released a month after the main jobs numbers, but they are watched by economists in federal agencies and on Wall Street for hints about the dynamics underlying the labor market.
In particular, Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen has cited the quits rate as an indicator she watches in addition to the unemployment rate as a sign of labor market health.
Although hires and quits have been mostly flat throughout 2015, the index shows steady improvement over the past few years. There were just 1.6 unemployed workers for every posted job opening in May, down from nearly seven at the height of the jobs crisis in 2009.