Job Openings Fall in May, but Tight Labor Market Remains

Staffing Industry Analysts (07/06/22)

US job openings fell by 427,000 in May compared to April to 11.25 million but still far exceed the number of job seekers, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Figures for hires and total separations were little changed.

The largest decreases in job openings were in professional and business services, down by 325,000; durable goods manufacturing, down by 138,000; and nondurable goods manufacturing, down by 70,000.

There were about 1.9 jobs for every unemployed person in May, little changed from April. Federal Reserve officials, including Chair Jerome Powell, have pointed to the figure as a measure of labor market tightness and a reason why the economy can withstand aggressive rate hikes without toppling into recession, Bloomberg reported.

Total separations — including quits, layoffs and discharges — remained little changed, edging up by 18,000 month over month.

The number of hires fell by 38,000 in May from April, fueled by a 40,000 decrease in finance and insurance hiring.