The labor market nationally seems to be softening. On July 6th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the number of job openings decreased to 9.8 million on the last day of May. Job openings have been declining since May 2022 (see graph below).
The next day, the BLS announced that payroll employment increased by 209,000 in June, however, this is a slowdown on previous months.
Locally, after four months of declining payroll employment, we have seen employment increase over the last two months. Employment has increased from 241,600 in March to 246,100 in May. Over two-thirds of those jobs were created in leisure and hospitality. That industry now employs a record high of 30,132 workers, with data going back to 1990. The government sector (local, state, and federal) added 225 jobs to remain the largest employer locally, with 44,000 workers. Education and health services added 500 jobs and remain the second largest industry sector, employing 36,500 workers. The third largest sector tracked by the BLS is professional and business services with 32,600 employees, but employment in this sector has been declining for the last year.