The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job openings decreased to 11.3 million on the last business day of May.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed in its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS), which was released on July 6, 2022, that the number of job openings decreased by 6.9% in May from 11.7 million in April. The decrease was led by professional and business services, with 325,000 fewer openings. Vacancies at makers of long-lasting goods fell by 138,000, while there were 70,000 fewer unfilled positions in the nondurable goods manufacturing industry.

It is the second consecutive monthly decline in job openings following a record high of 11.9 million in March.

Despite the decrease in job openings, the Wednesday report revealed a labor market that still leans workers’ way in May, a month when the U.S. added 390,000 jobs and saw the jobless rate remain strong at 3.6%. Even still, there are almost two open jobs for each unemployed American. This allows workers to find jobs that offer better career opportunities and higher compensation.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has stated that he hopes higher interest rates will help reduce job openings without wiping out job gains. However, Powell acknowledged that it will be difficult to avoid slowing down the labor market as interest rates continue to increase to tamp down inflation.

The Federal Reserve in June raised its policy rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, the biggest such hike since 1994. Another similar hike is expected in July.