Jobs fell sharply in June as the labor market showed signs of slowing down

A man walks past an “We’re Hiring” sign in New York City on July 8, 2022.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Jobs in June fell to their lowest level since September 2021 in a possible sign that the historically tight job market is starting to slow.

Total job vacancies fell to about 10.7 million during the last day of June, a decrease of 605,000, or 5.4%, according to the Job Opportunity and Employment Turnover Survey released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Markets were looking for 11.14 million openings, according to FactSet.

Even with the steep decline, there are still 1.8 jobs open for each available worker, with the difference totaling about 4.8 million.

Employment also slowed during the month, dropping 2% to 6.37 million, while the level of resignations, an indicator of workers’ mobility and confidence, was little changed but far from record levels seen earlier this year. Separations also fell, falling 1.4% to 5.93 million.

Federal Reserve officials are watching JOLTs numbers closely as they assess the future course of the labor market and how this could affect interest rates. The Federal Reserve has passed four interest rate increases this year totaling 2.25 percentage points in an effort to control inflation, which is at its fastest rate since November 1981.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 372,000 in June and the unemployment rate settled at 3.6%. The July numbers will be released on Friday, as economists surveyed by Dow Jones look to a gain of 258,000.

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