WASHINGTON — U.S. job openings slipped in Could however remained at ranges excessive sufficient for instance that the American labor market stays resilient within the face of sharply greater rates of interest.
Employers posted 9.8 million job vacancies, down from 10.3 million in April, the Labor Division mentioned Thursday. However layoffs fell barely, and extra People give up their jobs — an indication they have been assured they might discover higher pay or working situations elsewhere.
Job openings fell in healthcare, insurance coverage and finance. However there have been extra jobs obtainable in schooling and authorities.
The Labor Division’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), “continues to mirror a regularly slowing but still-robust labor market, one that’s cooler than a yr in the past however nonetheless sizzling,” mentioned Nick Bunker, analysis director on the Certainly Hiring Lab. He added that “demand for brand new hires stays elevated and employers are nonetheless holding onto the employees they’ve.”
Month-to-month job openings stay excessive by historic requirements — that they had by no means hit 8 million earlier than 2021 — regardless of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive marketing campaign since to chill the American labor market and fight inflation that final yr hit four-decade highs. The Fed has hiked its benchmark short-term rate of interest 10 occasions since March 2022.
The upper borrowing prices have had an influence: Financial development has slowed, and month-to-month job openings are down from their March 2022 peak of 12 million, highest on report. Inflation is down, too: Client costs have been up 4% in Could from a yr earlier, down from a year-over-year peak of 9.1% in June 2022 however nonetheless double the Fed’s 2% goal.
Economists have lengthy predicted the US would tumble into recession this yr. However the job market’s persistent sturdiness has raised doubts about whether or not a downturn is inevitable in spite of everything.
Employers have added a powerful 314,000 jobs a month this yr, and at 3.7% in Could, the unemployment fee just isn’t far off a half-century low.
The Labor Division on Friday releases its employment report for June. Forecasters surveyed by the info agency FactSet count on that payrolls rose by one other 205,000 final month and that unemployment dipped to three.6%.