The pace of hiring by U.S. employers increased in May, the Labor department said on Tuesday in a report that gave a positive sign for the American job market.

The hire rate, or the percentage of workers hired relative to total employment, ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 3.3 percent during the month, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

The report is based on a separate survey than the Labor Department's monthly survey of employer payrolls, which has shown strong gains in employment in May and June.

Tuesday's report also showed that job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased marginally to a seasonally adjusted 3.828 million in May from a revised 3.8 million in April.