Job openings were little changed in all four regions. The job openings rate for May was 3.6percent, which was little changed for the total private and government sectors.
Federal Reserve officials monitor the report closely for signs of an improving labor market. “We’re at a point where companies need to keep hiring”. More than 2 million positions were unoccupied in the South, while only 821,000 job openings were posted in the Northeast. In the previous month, the economy added 5.38 million job openings.
Tuesday’s so-called JOLTS report, which runs a month behind the Labor Department’s popular unemployment and jobs data, comes on the heels of mixed June jobs numbers released Friday. The first half of 2015 has been the worst start to any year in terms of job cuts since 2010. Hiring increased in retail and leisure and hospitality, but fell in construction, manufacturing and professional and business services.
The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of open jobs rose 0.5 percent to 5.36 million in May. When workers quit their jobs voluntarily, it suggests they have confidence in their ability to find another job.
The JOLTS report also contains the quits rate, which was little changed near 1.9%.
Labor reported last week that employers added a net 254,000 jobs in May, a healthy figure but less than the 280,000 it initially estimated. Quits reached a seven-year high in January. But average hourly wages have risen just 2 per cent 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.
“Measures of job turnover, which tend to lead wage acceleration, were disappointing, ” said Jeremy Schwartz, an analyst at Credit Suisse.
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.