The number of job openings in the U.S. climbed to 3.4-million at the end of October, up from 3-million in the prior month, according to data from the Labor Department.

The October gain follows two straight months of declines and represents the highest number of openings since August 2008.

In addition, the number of advertised jobs is now 44 percent higher than the level reached at the trough of July 2009.

However, openings remain well below the 4.4-million jobs advertised in December 2007 at the onset of the recession.

In addition, the report indicates that the number of jobseekers for each job opening is declining – from 4.4 unemployed workers in October for each available job, from 4.9 in September.

However, in December 2007, there were only 1.8 jobseekers per available job opening.

Overall, the number of job openings in October (not seasonally adjusted) climbed over the past twelve months for the nonfarm and private sectors. But for government, the number of openings was roughly flat and actually decreased for the federal government. Also, job openings increased in seven industries and decreased in two industries over that period.

Last week, the government reported that only 39,000 jobs (far below analysts’ expectations) were created in the U.S. economy in November, while the unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent.

Despite last month’s poor jobs report, some economists believe the increase in job openings will lead to more hiring in the next few months.