Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week

US employers posted fewer job openings in June as the economy grapples with runaway inflation and rising interest rates.

Job openings fell to 10.7 million in June, which is still high from 11.3 million in May, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

In its Monthly Survey of Job Vacancies and Job Turnover, the Labor Department said the number of Americans who quit their jobs fell slightly in June, while layoffs fell.

The job market has been resilient so far this year: Employers have added an average of 457,000 jobs per month in 2022; and unemployment is near a 50-year low. That’s one reason many economists believe the economy isn’t in a recession yet even though gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, has contracted for two quarters in a row, a rule of thumb for the start of a recession.

The Labor Department’s jobs report for July, released Friday, is expected to show employers added another 250,000 jobs last month, which would be a healthy number in normal times but would be the lowest since December 2020. Economists also expect unemployment to remain at 3.6% for the fifth straight month, according to a survey by the data firm FactSet.

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