Job opportunities increased in September compared to the previous month in the still tight labor market as demand for workers continued to outpace the number of unemployed people looking for work.

The increase in job vacancies and other figures in the Labor Department’s report on employment demand and job turnover added to the signs of a healthy labor market that has slowed slightly compared to the first half of the year. Salary growth slowed in September but remained strong. Wages and benefits rose rapidly in the third quarter but at a similar pace to the previous quarter. Unemployment claims remained low as employers stuck to workers.

The overall economy, while losing some momentum, is still growing. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates again this week as it tries to calm the economy and tame inflation, which is approaching a four-decade high.

Total employment for employers rose by 437,000 to 10.7 million seasonally-adjusted jobs in September from 10.3 million upwardly-adjusted jobs the previous month, the Labor Department said Tuesday. September’s editorials were well above the 5.8 million unemployed people looking for work – an imbalance that is putting pressure on wages and general inflation.

Jobs peaked in March at 11.9 million and have since fallen in four of the past six months through September. Openings are still high compared to the average of 7.2 million in 2019 before the pandemic.

US stocks fell on Tuesday after a hawkish labor market reading heightened concerns about aggressive interest rate decisions by the Federal Reserve.

Other figures in the Labor Department report indicated a tight labor market. The number of times workers quit their jobs remained high in September but fell slightly to 4.1 million, down from 4.5 million in November 2021.

The department said layoffs fell to 1.3 million, a total lower than the 2019 average.

The Department of Labor said food, entertainment, education, health care and job opportunities in the federal government drove the increase in September. Manufacturing and financial activities were among the few industries that experienced a decline.

“Some sectors are going through a period of downturn while others are still trying to recover from the pandemic,” said Nick Bunker, economist at job site Indeed. “According to all the key metrics in this report, the job market is resilient.”

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It has already estimated total openings of about 10 million in mid-October, down from the September level. In fact, the data shows that roles in the technology industry, such as software development and marketing, saw a significant drop in jobs this year through the middle of last month.

Companies in technology, real estate and financial services, which are affected by high interest rates, such as Meta Platforms Inc. and Goldman Sachs and Redfin Corp., are laying off workers or announcing plans to cut staff this year.

Employment has been flat in the manufacturing sector, according to separate October surveys of purchasing managers by the Institute of Supply Management and Standard & Poor’s Global released on Tuesday. However, Standard & Poor’s noted that “cost-reducing measures and uncertainty regarding future demand and lower production requirements led to a modest increase in employment.”

Employers in industries that typically struggle to hire enough workers, such as health care and education, will continue to add jobs, but ultimately slow the pace of hiring if the economy weakens further, said Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY-Parthenon, a consultancy.

“It is unlikely that there will be a sector in which employment will continue to grow strongly. It may still be seeing growth, but at a more subdued pace,” Dako said, adding that labor demand has already shown early signs of slowing as companies anticipate a recession and try to limit costs Employment without layoffs.

“There is an increased amount of caution and caution among business people in their talent management decisions such as more hiring freezes or perhaps less effort to keep employees who might want to leave,” Dako said.

Ford Motor Company has asked white-collar employees considered poor performers to choose between receiving a termination package or a performance improvement.

For some leisure and hospitality companies, hiring is still difficult. Robert Lindo, vice president and principal at Casino M8trix, a gambling and entertainment venue in San Jose, California, said his company of about 610 workers has about 80 jobs.

Mr Lindo said it has been difficult to hire servers, bartenders, line cooks and security officers, causing the company to reduce the amount of food options it serves and open fewer tables.

“There are no job responses for some of the vacant positions, so wage increases are constantly being factored in,” said Mr Lindo. He added that the rising cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area and the proximity of tech companies that usually pay more for their workers by the hour add to the challenge he faces in competing for workers.

Write to Brian Mina at [email protected]

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