JOLTS: Job openings slip in May

Job openings slid in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Tuesday.

There were 5.5 million job openings in May, down from 5.79 million job openings in April, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) report.

A worker loads automotive tires onto a conveyor belt at the Continental Tire Sumter plant distribution warehouse in Sumter, South Carolina.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

At a 3.7 percent rate, May's results marked the fewest job postings since December. The decline in jobs advertised by employers was focused mainly in the private sector, especially in the South and Midwest regions of the U.S.

The monthly report from the Labor Department is a closely followed barometer of economic conditions, measuring job postings in different sectors, and the number of hires and layoffs — which were tepid in May.

Hires were little changed across the country at 5 million in May, a rate of 3.5 percent, the survey said. Also little changed were the 5 million separations in May, a 3.4 percent rate, with 2.9 million quits and 1.7 million layoffs, the survey said.

The JOLTS report came after a separate Labor Department report showed that job creation tumbled in May, badly missing expectations. But that report rebounded strongly in June.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.