U.S. employers posted help-wanted ads for 3.4 million jobs in Sept., the Department of Labor announced on Tuesday. That's the most in any single month for the last three years, they added.

While those figures sound almost too good to be true, just posting job openings doesn't always mean new jobs are available. Even at the height of the employment crisis in July 2009, 2.1 million job openings were posted.

Still, economists believe it is a reassuring sign that hiring will continue to pick up across the U.S. as the economy slowly revs back up.

The Labor Dept. said earlier this month that 104,000 new jobs were created in the private sector during Oct., and another 102,000 were added to figures from Aug. and Sept. Even more jobs could be added to that figure from Oct. with possible future revisions.

That makes 20 straight months the U.S. economy has added jobs, creating 2.8 million new positions, according to government figures. Those numbers also include more than 1 million new jobs this year alone.

While the official unemployment rate is now down to 9 percent, that's still inordinately high. Most economists say the nation would need to add at least 120,000 new jobs each month to drive the unemployment rate down even further.

Photo: Flickr user andjohan.