Jobs unexpectedly rose in July to 11.2 million, hovering near a record high

U.S. job opportunities unexpectedly rose in July to a near record high, underlining how ongoing turmoil in the labor market has made it difficult for employers to fill job vacancies.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday that 11.2 million jobs were created in July, up from an upwardly revised 11 million the previous month.

the number of Available works Has exceeded 10 million for 12 consecutive months; Before the pandemic began in February 2020, the highest recorded level was 7.7 million.

The Federal Reserve It keeps a close eye on these numbers as it tries to gauge the tightness of the labor market; The higher than expected number of openings could provide fuel for another 75 basis point rally when policy makers meet next month as they try to slow the economy and cool high inflation.

The Federal Reserve raises interest rates by 75 basis points in another historic move to tackle inflation

job recruitment

Bay Shore, NY: A large advertisement for “Now Hiring” is posted on the windows of an Advance Auto Parts store in Bayshore, New York on March 24, 2022. (Photo by Steve Pfost / Newsday RM via Getty Images / Getty Images)

“There are still two jobs available for nearly everyone available to work,” said Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LBL Financial. “So far, the Fed has more reason to keep talking firmly about its anti-inflation mandate.”

Meanwhile, the number of Americans who quit their jobs has fallen to 4.18 million, or about 2.7% of the workforce — below the high recorded earlier this year of 4.5 million, but well above the pre-pandemic level of about 3.6 million. Employment also declined, falling to 6.38 million.

Resignations in April focused on accommodation and food services, health care, social assistance, transportation, housing and utilities.

The data underscores how companies continue to face labor shortages as workers leave their jobs in favor of better wages, working conditions and better working hours – a new trend dubbed “The Great Resignation”. However, the outcome pushed inflation higher: Americans’ incomes rose across the board as employers ramped up hiring to offset losses and attract potential workers through higher wages.

Switching jobs has been a windfall for many workers over the past year, with employees seeing an annual wage growth rate of 6.7% – a marked increase from the 4.9% of workers who don’t change jobs, According to the Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta.

The Federal Reserve responded to the inflation crisis and an extremely tight labor market by raising interest rates at the fastest pace in decades. Officials approved two consecutive rate hikes of 75 basis points in June and July and indicated that volume was on the table in September.

Now hiring banners at Dealware

Recruitment banners are now displayed in front of restaurants in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, March 19, 2022. (Photo by Stephanie Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)/Getty Images)

President Jerome Powell In a keynote speech last week at the Kansas Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, he said policymakers remain focused on fighting inflation, but that could mean higher levels of unemployment.

“While high interest rates, slow growth, and weak labor market conditions will bring inflation down, they will also cause some pain to households and businesses,” he said. “These are the unfortunate costs of lowering inflation. But failure to restore price stability will mean much more pain.”

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The data precedes the release of the July jobs report on Friday morning, which is expected to show employers employed 300,000 workers after a gain of 528,000 in June. The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 3.5%, the lowest level since the pandemic began two years ago.

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