Numbers: US job opportunities fell to 10.7 million in June to its lowest level since last fall, indicating that an overheated labor market is easing a bit as the economy slows.
Jobs fell from 11.3 million in May. It has fallen three months in a row after peaking in early spring at a record 11.9 million.
The number of people who left their jobs in June, the Labor Department said on Tuesday, fell only slightly to 4.23 million.
Smoking cessation cases exceeded 4 million a year ago for the first time ever, and it’s part of the pandemic-era trend that has come to be known as the “Great Resignation.”
Before the pandemic, the average number of people leaving their jobs was less than 3 million per month.
However, the large number of people leaving their jobs indicates that the labor market is still very strong. Most people who quit smoking usually find a better job.
Layoffs have also remained at historically very low levels.
The Big Picture: The economy is slowing – and so is the crowded job market.
Plenty of companies are still trying to hire, but many are falling behind and there are some reports of sporadic layoffs, especially in the tech sector. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has also increased slightly in the past few months.
As long as the US avoids mass layoffs, the economy is likely to continue growing or at least avoid a severe recession. But there is no guarantee that inflation will spread and the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sharply.
Key details: The lowest jobs were in retail (-343000), wholesale (-82000), and state and local government (-62000). Most other industries have seen little change.
The so-called quit rate was unchanged at 2.8%. It peaked at 3% at the end of 2021.
More people quit when the economy is doing well or they think they can find a better job.
There are approximately two open jobs for every unemployed person, although companies do not attempt to fill all of them. The number of vacancies is largely seen as a means of assessing the strength of the labor market.
The government jobs report was released a month late.
I look ahead: “If the economy is rolling in, the labor market clearly hasn’t got the memo yet until the end of June,” said chief economist Stephen Stanley of Amherst Pierpont Securities.
“The outlook for economic growth may not be as rosy as it was a few months ago, but there is no sign of imminent danger in the labor market,” said Nick Bunker, director of economic research at Indeed Hiring Lab.
market reaction: Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
and the S&P 500 SPX,
It fell in trading on Tuesday.