Number of Job Openings in the US Rises Unexpectedly

The Federal Reserve has been waiting for the labor market to cool down for some time. This is considered an important indicator for the central bank’s interest rate policy.

Recently, the demand for personnel in the US has surprisingly increased. The key figure for open positions, which is also important for the Fed’s interest rate policy, rose to 8.14 million at the end of May, according to the US Department of Labor’s monthly JOLTS survey released on Tuesday.

Experts surveyed by Reuters had expected 7.91 million. Meanwhile, the previous month’s figure was revised down to 7.919 million from the initially reported 8.059 million.

On Friday, the government will release the June employment report. Economists expect a job gain of 190,000 outside of agriculture, following an increase of 272,000 in May.

The Federal Reserve aims to curb inflation and cool the labor market with a tight monetary policy without stifling the economy. The central bank maintains the key interest rate in the range of 5.25 to 5.50 percent. Given the persistent inflation, financial markets anticipate that the downward shift in interest rates will occur no sooner than September.

Despite progress in the fight against inflation, the Fed, according to Chairman Jerome Powell, is in no hurry to reverse the rate hikes. The central bank has the ability to take its time and do it “right,” Powell said at the ECB’s Central Bank Forum in Sintra, Portugal. He described the labor market as still robust.