April 8, 2014 / 2:48 PM / in 4 years

U.S. job openings hit six-year high in February

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job openings jumped to their highest level in six years in February, pointing to a steadily improving labor market.

People wait in line to meet a job recruiter at the UJA-Federation Connect to Care job fair in New York March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased 299,000 to a seasonally adjusted 4.17 million, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday. That was the highest level since January 2008.

The report is one of the indicators being closely watched by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other policymakers to gauge the health of the jobs market.

The number of people quitting their jobs rose for the first time in three months, a sign of confidence in the labor market.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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