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US businesses ramped up job searches in April

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. companies advertised more jobs in April than in any month in six and a half years, suggesting that a recent pickup in hiring should continue.

The Labor Department says employers posted nearly 4.5 million jobs, up strongly from 4.2 million in March. It's the largest number of job listings since September 2007.

Almost all the gain occurred in the private sector, while government job openings rose slightly. The biggest increases were in retail, restaurants and hotels, which include mostly lower-paying jobs.

Still, the professional and business services category, which includes higher-paying jobs such as accountants and engineers, also posted a big jump.

Companies have been slow to fill openings since the recession ended, so the increase in postings won't automatically lead to more jobs.

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