The total job openings in the US was 8.14 million on the last business day of May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLT) report Tuesday, up from a downwardly revised April reading of 7.92 million, marking the first monthly increase vacancies since February.

Job openings rate, which is a ratio of the number of available jobs to the sum of employment and job openings, also increased by a tenth of a percentage point to 4.9%.

The timid increase in job availability was accompanied by 5.76 million additions in payrolls during the month, which was 141,000 higher than the figure in April and helped boost hire rate by a bit to 3.6%.

Both readings support the argument that labor market is still resilient without notable signs of deteriorations. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday morning said, during a panel in a ECB monetary policy forum in Portugal started prior to the release of JOLT figures, that the US labor market is “cooling off appropriately” and going to the right direction.

The number of job vacancies per unemployed people in the US remain at 1.22 following the May figures, a similar to the 2019 pre-pandemic level which was considered as a “hot” job market back then.

“The labor market is not heating back up. But after several years of declines, job openings might be, and  — perhaps more importantly — need to be leveling off to preserve the current health of the labor market,” wrote Nick Bunker, Economic Research Director for North America at the Indeed Hiring Lab, in a blog post.

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