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Job Openings Still At Historic Highs


The next couple of months may tell us more where we are at.

Don’t look here for signs of a recession: New data shows some heat may be coming out of the labor market, but jobs are still plentiful.

Why it matters: This is the ideal scenario for a Federal Reserve that wants to cool down the job market. Vacancies are falling, but hiring is steady and layoffs are near all-time lows, according to May’s JOLTS report.

The job market remains extremely tight but less torrid than in prior months. There are about 1.9 open jobs for every unemployed worker, down marginally from March’s peak of 2.

By the numbers: Job openings fell to 11.3 million in May, the first back-to-back monthly decline since April 2020. The drop’s big drivers were the professional and business services sector and manufacturing. Even with the decline, open positions are near record levels.

Yet some 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in May — about as many as in March and April.

That’s a sign that this closely watched metric could be starting to level off, though at historically high levels.

Axios Macro By Neil Irwin and Courtenay Brown · Jul 06, 2022