State of the Labor Market

Job Openings and Turnover Report, June 2019: Job Openings Slowing Down

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June marks the 16th straight month where job openings outnumbered unemployed workers.

Today’s numbers from the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) confirm that the labor market isn’t adding as many jobs right now, but it also isn’t losing them. Employer demand is slowing down, and the labor market isn’t improving at the rate that it was before, but things aren’t getting worse.

Both job openings and hiring fell over the year, reflecting a slower-growing labor market. Part of the weakness can be explained by a significant pullback in the retail sector, but job openings outside of the retail sector still declined by 1.7%. The slowdown is happening across the entire economy.

Even with job openings growth turning negative, this month marks the 16th straight month where job openings outnumbered unemployed workers. The quits rate remains elevated but unchanged for a year now. Employers aren’t shedding jobs at a higher rate. In fact, the layoffs and discharge rate declined slightly in June. If you’re looking for a new job, it won’t be as easy has it has been over the last year, but if you’re worried about losing your current job, don’t sweat it too much.

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