US job openings slipped in May, but hiring increased

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By josh boak

U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in May. But hiring picked up and more people are quitting their jobs — both positive signs for the economy.

Job openings fell 5 percent in May to 5.7 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The setback occurred after advertised job postings nearly reached 6 million in April, a figure that has been revised downward from the initial report. Meanwhile, hiring climbed 8.5 per cent to just under 5.5 million.

The data is a sign the economy at 4.4 percent unemployment is nearing “full employment,” when nearly all those who want a job have one and the unemployment rate mostly reflects the normal churn of people who are temporarily out of work. Typically, when unemployment falls that low, companies are forced to offer more pay, but that hasn’t yet happened.

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