Job openings rose 10% in July to a pandemic high even though the rate of hiring saw a sharp slump, according to a Labor Department report Wednesday.
The total for available positions hit 6.6 million for the month, above the 6 million expected from economists surveyed by FactSet. The estimate effectively would have been no change from the June total for the government’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which runs a month behind the department’s nonfarm payrolls count.
The openings rate increased from 4.2% to 4.5%, just below the 4.6% level from a year ago.
While job openings surged, the actual hires tumbled from just shy of 7 million in June to 5.8 million in July, a decline of about 17%. The hiring rate as a share of the workforce fell from 5.1% to 4.1%. Though that was a considerable decline, it was just ahead of the 4% level