The number of job openings in Minnesota hit a 12-year high in the second quarter, with employers reporting 72,570 vacancies, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Vacancies rose 15.3 percent from the same period a year ago, when employers reported nearly 63,000 openings. There were 2.1 unemployed people for each vacancy during the quarter, compared with 2.6 unemployed people per vacancy a year earlier. About 153,000 people were unemployed in the state at the end of July.

“This increase in job vacancy numbers offers fresh evidence that the economy is recovering rapidly from the recession,” said the department's commissioner, Katie Clark Sieben. “Minnesota employers are feeling confident about the economy and are looking for people to fill their open positions.”

The trend, however, is for faster growth in part-time and lower-paying jobs. Forty-five percent of the openings are part-time, up from 42 percent a year ago. And the median hourly wage offer for job openings in Minnesota fell about 50 cents from the same period a year ago. The median wage offer is $12.50.

The state’s analysis found that 42,320 of the openings (58.3 percent) were in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area, with the remaining 30,250 openings in Greater Minnesota. Job vacancies increased 22.3 percent in the Twin Cities and 6.7 percent in Greater Minnesota from the same period a year ago.

Jobs in health care and social assistance accounted for almost one in five of the statewide vacancies, with other major categories including retail, hotels and restaurants and manufacturing.

Middle-sized companies (10 to 249 employees) accounted for 68.1 percent of the openings, while large firms reported 18.6 percent of the vacancies and small firms had 13.3 percent of the openings.

Here are the top 10 jobs for vacancy, and their median wage offer: