NATIONAL NEWS

Job vacancies rose in July, dashing Fed hopes for cooling

Aug 30, 2022, 9:06 AM | Updated: 11:25 am
FILE: A "now hiring" sign is posted at a Home Depot store on August 05, 2022 in San Rafael, Califor...
FILE: A "now hiring" sign is posted at a Home Depot store on August 05, 2022 in San Rafael, California. According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 528,000 jobs in July, far more than the 250,000 expected by analysts. The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of open jobs in the United States rose in July after three months of declines, a sign that employers are still urgently seeking workers despite a weakening economy and high inflation.

The increase that the government reported Tuesday will be a disappointment for Federal Reserve officials, who are seeking to cool hiring and the economy by raising short-term interest rates to try to slow borrowing and spending, which tend to fuel inflation.

There were 11.2 million open jobs available on the last day of July — nearly two jobs, on average, for every unemployed person — up from 11 million in June. June’s figure was also revised sharply higher.

“The Fed has made very little progress in terms of narrowing the gap between labor supply and demand,” Aneta Markowska, chief economist at investment bank Jefferies, wrote in a research note.

Reducing the high demand for workers to a level closer to the available supply would ease the pressure on companies to pay higher wages to attract and keep workers. Higher pay has been passed on by many businesses to consumers in the form of higher prices, thereby intensifying inflation.

Last month, job openings rose in retail, warehousing and shipping, professional services, and in state and local education. The number of openings declined in manufacturing and health care.

The number of people who quit jobs also declined slightly in July, to 4.18 million from 4.25 million in June. People typically quit jobs for a new position, usually at higher pay. As a result, fewer quits could lessen the pressure on companies to raise pay. But quitting still remains far above pre-pandemic levels, when it rarely topped 3 million.

Job vacancies have been elevated since the economy began recovering from the pandemic recession more than two years ago. As demand has rapidly rebounded, employers have sought to quickly add workers.

When COVID-19 struck and widespread shutdowns were imposed in March and April of 2000, businesses slashed 22 million jobs. Yet not all workers have returned as the economy has recovered. There are now fewer people working or looking for work compared with pre-pandemic trends. The number of open jobs reached a record level of 11.9 million in March, before declining for three months. Before the pandemic, they had never topped 8 million.

The latest figures suggest that demand for workers remains hot. On Friday, the government will release its monthly jobs report, which is expected to show that 300,000 jobs were added, a slowdown from the previous month when hiring topped a half-million, but still a healthy number.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other policymakers have said they hope to reduce the number of open jobs without causing higher unemployment. Larry Summers, a former Treasury Secretary, and Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, have argued that such an outcome is unlikely.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

FILE photo...
REBECCA BOONE Associated Press

Idaho ordered to pay $2.5M to transgender inmate for legal fees

A federal judge has ordered Idaho and its prison medical care provider to pay more than $2.5 million in legal fees to a transgender inmate who sued after she was denied gender confirmation surgery.
19 hours ago
surveillance image of possible shooter...
Associated Press

Killings of 5 men in California are related, police say

Rewards totaling $85,000 have been offered for information leading to an arrest in five fatal shootings since July in Stockton, California, that investigators believe are related.
19 hours ago
OREM, UT - FEBRUARY 21: A bump stock is installed on an AK-47 at Good Guys Gun and Range on Februar...
Associated Press

Supreme Court rejects bump stock ban cases, one from Utahn

The Supreme Court says it won't take up two cases that involved challenges to a ban enacted during the Trump administration on bump stocks. Those are the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.
19 hours ago
The competitors allegedly used fillet and lead balls to weigh down their walleye. Anglers win based...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

Cheating scandal at Ohio tournament rocks competitive fishing world

The would-be winners of almost $29,000 at an Ohio fishing tournament were disqualified on Friday after it was discovered their fish were stuffed with lead weights and fish fillets.
19 hours ago
FILE - Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native American activist, tells the audience at the Academy Awards ...
JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer

Sacheen Littlefeather, actor who declined Brando Oscar for him, dies

The actor and activist who declined Marlon Brando's 1973 Academy Award for "The Godfather" on his behalf in an indelible protest of how Native Americans had been portrayed on screen has died. Sacheen Littlefeather was 75.
19 hours ago
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during the first half in Game Four of the 2021 WNBA semi...
VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press

Russian court sets Brittney Griner appeal date for Oct. 25

A Russian court has set a date for American basketball star Brittney Griner’s appeal against her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Job vacancies rose in July, dashing Fed hopes for cooling