The number of job openings was up in May and hiring picked up as U.S. companies became more upbeat about the economy's prospects for the second half of the year, Bloomberg reported.

 

The number of positions waiting to be filled increased to 3.83 million from 3.8 million in April, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. Openings are close to the five-year high of 3.9 million reached in February.

 

The numbers may show momentum in the labor market that could give the Federal Reserve room to cut back on its monetary stimulus.

 

Even though employers are more confident, employees might not be, The Wall Street Journal reported. Around 2.2 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in May, up slightly from March and April but barely increased from a year earlier, according to another Labor Department measure.

 

Before the recession, around 3 million employees tended to quit their jobs each month. The "quits rate" of the number of people quitting as a share of the employed has been stuck at 1.6 percent for the past three months.