Jobs openings soar to a near-record high in July

By Leroy Cleveland - August 30, 2022

Despite the Federal Reserve’s attempts to slow the labor market, job openings in July remained at a near-record high while layoffs remained low, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday.

On July 29, U.S. employers had about 11.2 million job vacancies, nearly twice the number of the 5.7 million Americans who reported being unemployed, according to the Labor Department.

Hence, there are nearly two job openings for every jobless American who has revealed their status to a government agency.

“Even if economic growth slows, today’s report shows the labor market remains strong,” wrote Ann Elizabeth Konkel, senior economist at Indeed Hiring Lab.

A Worker’s Market

The rate at which employees voluntarily left their jobs in July remained at 2.7 percent, just below a record high of 2.9 percent set earlier this year.

Last month, nearly 4.2 million employees left their employers by choice with most seeking increased compensation or better career opportunities elsewhere.

“While lower than earlier this year, the quits rate is above where it was pre-pandemic and highlights that workers remain in the driver’s seat,” Konkel wrote.

Layoffs

Layoffs, a consistent phenomenon, were largely unchanged from June’s level as about 1.4 million Americans were cut last month. While that number might concern some, layoff rates have remained historically low since last year as employers are having difficulty keeping staffers from leaving for better money elsewhere.

“… This increase underscores that some employers will continue to face hiring challenges. And with job openings at 11.2 million, employer demand for workers is still robust,” Konkel added.

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