Job openings fell in May but the overall demand for workers remained strong, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday.
According to the monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, job openings dropped 427,000 to 11.3 million in May, a considerable decline from the upwardly revised 11.68 million in April.
This was the second straight monthly decline after job openings peaked at 11.9 million in March.
The rate of vacancies fell to 6.9% from 7.2%. Despite the decline, the level of job openings was better than FactSet’s estimate of 11.04 million.
According to the report, over 5.95 million people were counted as unemployed which leaves almost 1.9 openings per every available worker.
After soaring during the Covid pandemic, people quitting their jobs also declined to 4.27 million.
The unemployment rate in May was 3.6%, just above where it was prior to the pandemic. However, there are 440,000 fewer people working than there were in February 2020.
The JOLTS report is closely followed by Federal Reserve officials. A tight labor market could keep the Fed on an aggressive monetary policy path as it battles high inflation.