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For every job opening, there are 3 unemployed Americans

April 9, 2013: 2:59 PM ET

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The number of job openings rose in February to 3.9 million, according to the Labor Department's JOLTS report released Tuesday. This is good news if it translates into new hiring in the next few months.

About 12 million Americans were still unemployed in February, which means for every job opening, there are roughly 3.1 unemployed workers.

By this metric, you can see that the job market has improved substantially since 2009, when there were nearly 7 unemployed people per job opening.

That said, it's still higher than the pre-recession norm. Back in 2007, it was common to have only about 1.5 unemployed person per job opening.

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