The number of vacancies fell sharply in June as the labor market shows signs of slowing down

A man walks past a “We Are Hiring” sign in New York City on July 8, 2022.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Job vacancies fell in June to their lowest level since September 2021, a potential sign that a historically tight labor market is beginning to slow down.

The total number of job openings fell to about 10.7 million as of the last day of June, down 605,000 or 5.4%, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

Even with the sharp decline, there were still 1.8 vacancies per available employee, with a total difference of almost 4.8 million.

Hiring also slowed during the month, falling 2% to 6.37 million, while the number of layoffs, an indicator of employee mobility and confidence, changed little but well above the record levels recorded earlier this year. seen. Divorces also fell, falling 1.4% to 5.93 million.

Federal Reserve officials are keeping a close eye on JOLTs numbers as they assess the future path of the labor market and how that could affect interest rates. The Fed has implemented four rate hikes this year totaling 2.25 percentage points in an effort to contain inflation, which has reached its fastest pace since November 1981.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 372,000 in June and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6%. July’s numbers come out Friday, with economists polled by Dow Jones looking for a gain of 258,000.

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