Reports are indicating that the labor market is cooling down after a red-hot 2018. Led by declines in the transportation and construction industries, job openings throughout the U.S. dropped in May. There hasn’t been much job opening growth in 2019, which is noteworthy compared to record highs at the end of 2018. Hiring also declined sharply, although layoffs remained low. These figures don’t indicate an unhealthy labor market - simply one that is cooling down from a record-setting year last year.

WASHINGTON - U.S. job openings fell in May, pulled down by declines in the construction and transportation industries, potentially flagging a slowdown in employment growth in the months ahead. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report from the Labor Department on Tuesday also showed a sharp drop in hiring in May, but layoffs remained low. After hitting an all-time high of 7.6 million in late 2018, job openings have been flat this year, suggesting some cooling in the labor market. Job openings, a measure of labor demand, slipped by 49,000 to a seasonally adjusted 7.3 million in May, the government said in the JOLTS report. Vacancies in the construction industry dropped by 65,000 in May. Job openings in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities sector declined by 60,000, while unfilled positions in the real estate and rental and leasing industry fell 49,000. Declining job openings were also corroborated by a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business on Tuesday showing a decrease in the share of small business owners reporting vacancies they could not fill in June, even as about fifth cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their single most important problem. "A tight labor market and plentiful private sector opportunities appear to be drawing teachers away from their stable, but often poorly paid, jobs," said Julia Pollak, an economist at ZipRecruiter.
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