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Hires, job openings fall in May; rising uncertainty around economy

July 09, 2019

The number of hires fell by 266,000 in May with most of the decline, 262,000, in private industry, but job openings were little changed, falling by 49,000 from April, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Total separations also fell in May by 192,000. The number of quits fell by 117,000 for private employers but rose by 25,000 for government employers.

Job openings decreased in a number of industries during May, including construction, down 77,000 openings as well as the “transportation, warehousing and utilities” segment, down 60,000. However, job openings rose in “other services,” which were up 77,000.

“Today’s figures show that the US job market is finally settling, following a turbulent start to the year,” said Lee Biggins, CEO at Resume-Library, in response to the BLS report. “However, the number of hires has fallen from a series high [in April of 5.9 million] to 5.7 million, suggesting that candidate confidence is dropping; likely due to rising uncertainty around the strength of the economy across the country.”

Fewer professionals are also leaving their jobs with cautious workers more in need of better incentives to make them switch jobs, Biggins said.

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