Job Openings in the U.S. Remained Elevated in June

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(Bloomberg) -- U.S. job openings were little changed in June at elevated levels, adding to signs that the labor market remains generally healthy.

There were 7.35 million positions waiting to be filled, compared with an upwardly revised 7.38 million in May, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released Tuesday. The quits rate held at 2.3%, the highest level in more than a decade and a sign workers remain confident about their ability to find a job in a robust environment for employment. The quits rate has been unchanged since June 2018.

Key Insights

  • Total vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed Americans by 1.37 million.
  • The readings corroborate upbeat signs in the labor market, signaling that it’s poised to remain resilient amid resurgent trade tensions. Federal Reserve policy makers repeated last week that the job market “remains strong” while the Labor Department’s latest report on nonfarm payrolls showed overall employment gains slowed in July yet were still healthy.
  • A separate index from the Conference Board showed Monday that employment trends, calculated from jobless claims and other barometers, posted the biggest gain in 11 months and left the index within a point of an all-time high reached in August 2018.

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  • Hiring eased to 5.7 million while separations declined to 5.48 million.
  • Openings for state and local government rose to a record 613,000 while federal listings were little changed at 105,000.
  • Listings grew for professional and business services and trade and transportation, while openings in the construction and leisure industries declined.
  • Although it lags a month behind other Labor Department data, the JOLTS report adds context to monthly employment figures by measuring dynamics such as resignations, help-wanted ads and hiring.

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