The US economy had more job openings than expected in July

The content originally appeared on: CNN

Minneapolis (CNN Business)US employers aren’t ditching their “help wanted” signs just yet, according to new data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of open positions ticked up unexpectedly in July, with around 11.2 million jobs available, slightly higher than June’s revised total of 11 million openings, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The June total was revised up by about 300,000 positions.
Job openings hit a record high of 11.86 million in March of this year, in data that goes back to December 2000.
There were close to two jobs available per job seeker in July, up from 1.8 in June, according to the data. That’s not what the Federal Reserve was hoping for: The Fed views the near-record job openings as helping to drive wage increases, which is considered an inflation accelerant.
Total hires and separations were down slightly fromJune. Just under 6.4 million people were hired in July, down about 74,000 from June. The number of workers who quit their job totaled 4.18 million, down from 4.25 million in June.
Layoffs were unchanged at 1.4 million.
“Job openings per unemployed worker, a ratio the Federal Reserve has its eye on, rose to 1.98,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, senior economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. “Given the Federal Reserve wants to see this metric fall, today’s rise is not the direction they were hoping to see. Moreover, this increase underscores that some employers will continue to face hiring challenges. And with job openings at 11.2 million, employer demand for workers is still robust.”
This story is developing and will be updated.