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story.lead_photo.caption People attend a June job fair in Hollywood, Fla. The number of U.S. job openings was unchanged in June.

WASHINGTON -- The number of open U.S. jobs was largely unchanged in June and hiring slipped, suggesting the job market has cooled a bit but remains generally healthy.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday that the number of available jobs fell by just 0.5%, to 7.35 million. That's down from a record high last November of 7.63 million. Total hiring slipped 1% to 5.7 million, below a record of nearly 6 million in April.

Despite the flat readings in job openings and hiring, the figures point to a still-solid job market. There are nearly 1.3 available jobs for every unemployed person. Historically, those out of work outnumbered open positions. The current figures indicate that businesses remain hungry for workers, a sign they are confident the economy will keep growing.

On Friday, the government said employers added 164,000 new jobs in July, and the unemployment remained 3.7%, near a 50-year low. Those job gains are enough hiring to keep the unemployment declining over time.

But employers have pulled back a bit from last year. In the past three months, job gains have averaged just 140,000 a month, compared with 237,000 in the same period in 2018.

That slowdown likely reflects some caution among businesses as the economy downshifts. Growth slowed to just 2.1% in the April-June quarter, down from 3.1% in the first three months of the year.

The data in Tuesday's report -- known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey -- measure total hiring, while the figure in Friday's jobs report reflects net job gains after layoffs, quits and retirements are subtracted.

The number of people quitting their jobs also changed little in June, according to the report. The figure is a positive sign because most people leave their jobs when they have another offer, usually at higher pay. Roughly 2.3% of workers quit their jobs in June, a figure that has been unchanged for the past year.

Listings grew for professional and business services and trade and transportation, while openings in the construction and leisure industries declined.

Openings for state and local government rose to a record 613,000 while federal listings were little changed at 105,000.

A separate index from the Conference Board showed Monday that employment trends, calculated from jobless claims and other barometers, posted the biggest gain in 11 months and left the index within a point of an all-time high reached in August 2018.

Although it lags a month behind other Labor Department data, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report adds context to monthly employment figures by measuring dynamics such as resignations, help-wanted ads and hiring.

Information for this article was contributed by Christopher Rugaber of The Associated Press and by Ryan Haar of Bloomberg News.

Business on 08/07/2019

Print Headline: June jobs steady, hirings wane


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