US job vacancies fell for a third straight month in July as the job market began to slow, but conditions remained tight, likely leaving the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for some time.
The number of job vacancies, a measure of labor demand, fell by 338,000 to 8.827 million on the last day of July, the lowest level since March 2021, the Labor Department said in its monthly Vacancy and Job Rotation (JOLTS) report on Tuesday.
The data for June has been revised downward, showing 9.165 million job openings instead of the 9.582 million previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 9.465 million job openings in July.
The job market has remained resilient despite the US Federal Reserve’s 525 basis point rate hikes since March 2022, in part as employers filled positions vacated during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.
Businesses have also been reluctant to lay off workers after struggling to find workers during the pandemic. The unemployment rate is roughly where it was more than 50 years ago.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday at the annual symposium in Jackson Hole that the Federal Reserve “will exercise caution in deciding whether to continue raising interest rates or keep them official and await new data.”
According to CME Group’s FedWatch tool, financial markets expect the Fed to leave its overnight funds rate unchanged at the September 19–20 monetary policy meeting.