The number of hires was also little changed in May at 5 million. There was little change in the number of hires in all industries and regions over the month.
“Overall, we expect the pace of downsizing to slow in the final six months of 2015”, John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement accompanying the report, noting that consumer spending and oil prices have both picked up recently. Still, the number of new hires in May and the number of workers who left their job – a sign of strength since quits are generally associated with people finding better jobs – slipped slightly.
Still, the additional job openings hint at the possibility that job growth and wages will eventually improve. More than 2 million positions were unoccupied in the South, while only 821,000 job openings were posted in the Northeast. Trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; and leisure and hospitality led the way in terms of monthly hiring. In May 2014, there were about 2.1 potential seekers per opening.
In May, the initial read on nonfarm payrolls showed that the USA economy added 280,000 jobs, though this figure was revised lower in last Thursday’s June jobs report to show the economy added 254,000 jobs. The job openings rate for May was 3.6percent, which was little changed for the total private and government sectors. That average has risen just 2 percent over the past 12 months, slightly ahead of core inflation.
The progress in the labor market is among the reasons Fed policy makers are considering starting to raise the benchmark interest rate from near zero.
“Although progress clearly has been achieved, room for further improvement remains”, she said at a June 17 press conference. That has helped provide leverage to job candidates and should herald stronger wage growth in coming months.
Tyson Foods Inc., the largest USA chicken processor, is among business expanding their staff. The company in June said it will create 90 jobs at a Kentucky facility. It did not say how many shops or jobs will be affected.