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Job openings in US eased in May for a second month

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US job openings unexpectedly cooled in May for a second month, signaling a pause in demand for workers ahead of a surge in June payrolls growth that indicates a still-robust American labor market.

[WASHINGTON] US job openings unexpectedly cooled in May for a second month, signaling a pause in demand for workers ahead of a surge in June payrolls growth that indicates a still-robust American labor market.

The number of positions waiting to be filled were little changed in May at 7.32 million after a revised 7.37 million a month earlier, according to the Labour Department's Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released Tuesday. The quits rate held at 2.3 per cent for an 11th straight month in May, matching the highest since 2005 and suggesting workers are confident about their ability to find a job.

Total vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed Americans by 1.44 million.

Labour Department figures released last week show US employers added 224,000 jobs in June, rebounding from May's disappointing 72,000 gain.

While May job openings cooled, the positive June hiring report shows the economy may not be slowing as much as previous data suggest and reduces pressure for a Federal Reserve rate cut at the July meeting.

The number of people quitting was little changed at 3.4 million, with quits in the private sector falling 117,000 and those in government rising 25,000.

Hiring dropped to 5.73 million while separations also declined, to 5.5 million.

The number of total hires eased reflecting fewer additions in professional and business services, health care and leisure and hospitality.

BLOOMBERG