06/08/2010 03:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Job Openings Hit Highest Level In 16 Months (CHART)

For job seekers, it turns out April wasn't the cruelest month. According to the latest findings from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS), courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was a net increase in job openings in April, entirely thanks to private sector.

The news that job openings rose to the highest level in 16 months in April comes on the heel's of last week's dreary jobs report for May.

Overall there were 3.1 million new job openings in April, with the most coming out of service-oriented industries such as education, health, and professional business services. Government jobs fell the most, by 36,000 openings, despite the spike in census employment.

Furthermore, according to the Associated Press, manufacturing job gains in the Midwest lowered the nation's economic stress levels to its lowest point in five months. Only Louisa and Nevada showed worsening economic stress in April.

As a result there were five unemployed people jostling for every opening in April -- down slightly from 5.4 in March.

The BLS summary looked at three indicators: number of job openings, hiring rate and separations rate (the rate of people leaving their jobs voluntarily or involuntarily).

Check out the full BLS report here, and the nifty chart below (hat tip to Calculated Risk).