Fewer open jobs did little to hurt worker power in June

U.S. jobseekers had slightly fewer open gigs to choose from in June but still enjoyed record demand for workers as the labor market held strong, according to data released Tuesday by the Labor Department.

The June Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released Tuesday showed a slight decrease in job openings, which are still near record highs set earlier this year. But the number of workers who were hired, laid off or quit their jobs held about even in June, even amid high inflation and a slowing economy.

Job openings fell to 10.7 million on the final business day of June, according to the Labor Department, down from 11.3 million the previous month. That still left almost two open jobs for each of the 5.9 million Americans who were unemployed in June, giving workers ample power to find better work for higher wages.

The number of Americans taking new jobs fell slightly from 6.5 million in May to 6.4 million in June, and the number of Americans who either left or were dismissed from jobs fell slightly in June to 5.9 million from 6 million in May. 

Roughly 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in June, likely to take new ones with better compensation or career opportunities. The percentage of workers who quit their jobs in June held even at 2.8 percent, just 0.1 percentage points below a record high set in April.

Layoffs also dipped from 1.4 million in May to 1.3 million in June, while the percentage of the workforce that was laid off stayed even at 0.9 percent.