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U.S. job openings fall less than expected in May

Kitco News

WASHINGTON, July 6 (Reuters) - U.S. job openings fell less than expected in May, pointing to a still tight labor market that could keep the Federal Reserve on an aggressive monetary policy path as it battles high inflation.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, dropped 427,000 to 11.3 million on the last day of May, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, on Wednesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 11.0 million vacancies. The Fed is trying to cool demand for labor and the overall economy to bring inflation down to its 2% target.

Rising interest rates, inflation and tighter financial conditions have darkened the economic outlook, resulting in layoffs in the housing and technology sectors. Some technology companies have also been freezing hiring, but worker shortages still persist in other industries.

The U.S. central bank last month raised its policy rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, its biggest hike since 1994. Another similar-sized rate hike is expected in July. The Fed has increased its benchmark overnight interest rate by 150 basis points since March.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao
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