Economic Report: Job openings dip in July as demand for workers slows, but high ‘quit rate’ shows labor market still strong

A mason at work in Connecticut. Job openings in the U.S. fell slightly in July The numbers: Job openings in the U.S. fell slightly in July to a five-month low in a sign of slackening demand for labor. But layoffs remained extremely low and the number of people quitting hit an all-time high, typically a…

Economic Report: Job openings dip in July as demand for workers slows, but high ‘quit rate’ shows labor market still strong

A mason at work in Connecticut. Job openings in the U.S. fell slightly in July The numbers: Job openings in the U.S. fell slightly in July to a five-month low in a sign of slackening demand for labor. But layoffs remained extremely low and the number of people quitting hit an all-time high, typically a mark of a strong jobs market. The number of open jobs slipped to 7.22 million in July from 7.25 million in the prior month, the government said Tuesday. Read: U.S. creates just 130,000 new jobs in August, keeping Fed on track to cut rates What happened: Job openings fell among wholesalers and government, offsetting an increase in media and energy-related work such as oil extraction. Lower oil prices have forced drillers to cut back on employment. The share of people who left jobs on their own, known as the quits rate, rose to 2.6% among private-sector employees. That matched a postrecession high. The only time the quits rate has been higher was in 2001, shortly after the government first began tracking how many people left their jobs. The quits rate for all employees also rose a notch — the first increase in more than a year — to set a postrecession high of 2.4%. Some 3.6 million workers quit — a record high The rate at which people quit tends to rise when the economy is strong and workers are confident
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