Job openings fell to 8.83 million, their lowest since March 2021, according to Tuesday’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report for July.
In addition, hiring activity slowed, a smaller number of workers quit their jobs and layoffs inched higher.
“I’m expecting an echo of this report [on Friday], which is a slow calming of the economy,” Rachel Sederberg, senior economist with labor market research and analytics firm Lightcast, told CNN.
Private payroll data released by ADP on Wednesday also showed a cooling, with an estimated 177,000 private sector jobs added in August, a sharp pullback after months of robust hiring.
Nationwide, jobless claims remain well below pre-pandemic norms.
The number of Americans making first-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped slightly last week to 228,000, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor.
Initial claims for the week ended August 26 were slightly below the prior week’s level, which was revised up to 232,000.
In the decade before the pandemic, weekly claims for unemployment benefits averaged 311,000, Labor Department data shows.
Continuing claims, which are filed by people who have received unemployment benefits for more than one week, were 1.725 million for the week ended August 19, which is up 0.1% from the week before’s level of 1.697 million.
Economists were expecting 235,000 initial claims and 1.703 million continuing claims, according to Refinitiv.