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U.S. employers are posting a lot more job openings

People wait in line to enter the Nassau County Mega Job Fair at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York in this file photo from October 7, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of job openings in the United States rose to a near 13-year high in October, a hopeful sign for the U.S. economy and labor market.

Employers outside of the farming sector had 4.83 million jobs waiting to be filled during the month, up from 4.69 million in September, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.

Job openings across the U.S. economy have increased sharply since April, and the number of open slots in October was just shy of the 4.85 million jobs available in August, which was the highest reading since 2001.

While employers haven't been as quick to actually fill those openings, the increase in postings in recent months has coincided with other positive economic news that has made analysts more confident the economy is accelerating.

The number of available jobs could be making workers more confident to leave their current workplaces. The share of total employees opting to quit their jobs was 1.9 percent in October. That's a tenth of a point lower than in September, but this rate has also increased in recent months and now is at roughly the same level it was just before the 2007-09 recession.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)