The number of available jobs in the US just fell to its lowest level in more than two years

CNN/ Newswire | 8/1/2023, 10:15 a.m.
Job openings in the United States fell in June to their lowest level since April 2021, according to the latest …
Attendees at a career fair at a community college in Bolivia, North Carolina, US, on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Mandatory Credit: Allison Joyce/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Originally Published: 01 AUG 23 10:07 ET

Updated: 01 AUG 23 10:31 ET

By Alicia Wallace, CNN

Minneapolis (CNN) — Job openings in the United States fell in June to their lowest level since April 2021, according to the latest labor turnover data published Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CNN Video

U.S. labor market finally shows signs of easing

KPMG U.S. Chief Economist Diane Swonk discusses the U.S. jobs report and the Fed's next move. Source: CNN

The number of available jobs dropped for the second straight month, measuring a seasonally adjusted 9.582 million, or 1.6 jobs per job seeker.

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report shows that vacancies ticked down from a revised 9.61 million in May and shrank considerably since peaking north of 12 million in March 2022.

Job openings increased in industries such as health care and state and local government, excluding education, where postings fell. Job openings also dropped in industries such as transportation, warehousing and utilities and the federal government.

Economists were expecting 9.61 million openings, according to Refinitiv estimates.

On a monthly basis, the June JOLTS report also showed that the number of new hires dipped to 5.91 million from 6.23 million, quits peeled back to 3.722 million from 4.067 million, and layoffs inched down to 1.527 million from 1.546 million.

The US labor market is slowly getting back into balance, but business needs still outstrip the number of Americans looking for work, a lopsidedness that the Federal Reserve views as feeding into demand and, consequently, inflation.

Some of the labor turnover metrics are farther afield of their pre-pandemic levels than others — in February 2020, openings were just shy of 7 million, quits were 3.49 million and layoffs were 1.968 — however, the estimated 5.9 million new hires in June nearly aligns with the 5.864 million seen in February 2020.

This story is developing and will be updated.