The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report on Tuesday. Job openings climbed to 5.028 million in December from 4.847 million in November. That was the highest level since January 2001.
November's figure was revised down from 4.972 million.
Analysts had expected job openings to rise to 4.992 million.
The number of job openings was little changed for total private (4.5 million), while increased for government (518,000) in December.
The hires rate was 3.7% in December.
Total separations rose to 4.886 million in December from 4.700 million in November. That was the highest level since October 2008.
The JOLTS report is one of the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's favourite labour market indicators.