Manufacturing job openings contracted in June for the second straight month, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray broke it down for us.

The manufacturing outlook: “There were 790,000 manufacturing job openings in June, pulling back for the second straight month from April’s record 1,017,000 postings in the sector but remaining highly elevated,” said Moutray.

  • “Over the past 12 months, job openings in the sector have averaged nearly 865,000.”
  • “The number of job postings continued to be well above pre-pandemic levels, as companies ramped up activity and looked for more workers to meet the additional capacity.”
    Employees wanted: “Manufacturers hired 475,000 workers in June, up from 468,000 in May,” said Moutray. “Total separations ticked up from 438,000 to 442,000 for the month.”
  • “Therefore, net hiring (or hiring minus separations) totaled 33,000 in June, averaging a solid 35,500 over the past 12 months.”

The big picture: “In the larger economy, nonfarm business job openings remained very elevated but have cooled over the past three months from the record 11,855,000 postings in March,” said Moutray. “There were 10,698,000 job openings nationally in June, down from 11,303,000 in May.”

  • “In addition, there were also 5,912,000 unemployed Americans in June, which translated into 55.3 unemployed workers for every 100 job openings in the U.S. economy. That number marked an increase from the record set in March of 50.2 unemployed workers for every 100 job openings.”

What it means: “Even with some cooling in the past three months, the data speak to the extreme tightness of the labor market, with significantly more job openings than people looking for work,” said Moutray.