Job Openings Total 11.2 Million In July as Tight Labor Market Persists

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The number of job openings was 11.2 million as of the last business day of July, marking a slight increase from the recently revised 11.04 million open jobs in June. That’s according to a Tuesday release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This figure represented 1 million more open jobs than expected, according to a FactSet estimate cited by CNBC. With a July unemployment rate of 3.5%, or 5.7 million people unemployed, the number of job openings is still outnumbering available workers by an almost 2-to-1 ratio, a sign that the tight labor market persists.

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Overall, the U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Notable job gains were present across leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, health care, construction and manufacturing. Employment in retail trade increased by 22,000 in July, but represented little net change since March. Retail employment in July had 208,000 more jobs than February 2020 levels.

As for resignations, about 4.2 million people quit their jobs in July at a rate of 2.7%. This number represented little change from the adjusted 4.3 million people who left jobs in June.

Resignations increased by 12,000 in construction and by 6,000 in leisure and hospitality. They decreased by 17,000 in retail trade and by 81,000 in education and health services.

The total number of separations in July, which includes quits, layoffs and discharges, was 5.9 million, at a rate of 3.9%, marking little change from the month before. Layoffs and discharges totaled 1.4 million at an unchanged rate of 0.9%.

Meanwhile, consumer prices increased 8.5% in July from a year ago, down from its 40-year high of 9.1% in June. Energy prices fell 4.6% in July, while gasoline prices dipped 7.7%. This was offset by a 1.1% monthly gain in food prices and a 0.5% increase in shelter costs.

Amid the high prices, retail sales growth remained relatively stable in July at $682.8 billion, according to a monthly report from the U.S. Census Bureau. This marked little change from the numbers in June, which were amended to reflect $682.6 billion. However, sales were up 10.3% compared with July 2021.

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