(CN) – American employers advertised 7.3 million open jobs for the second straight month in June, reflecting a strong job market that continues to contribute to the longest economic expansion in U.S. history despite fears of a downturn.
Job openings were little changed, down to 7.35 million from 7.38 million in May. The record high of 7.63 million open jobs was set last November.
The number of overall hires in June also stayed the same, at about 5.7 million, as did the number of people quitting their jobs – 3.4 million. While worker departures can be difficult for employers, economists see them as a positive sign because most people who quit do so for higher-paying positions.
Unemployment has held steady at 3.7%, a nearly 50-year low, for the second straight month.
Job listings have outpaced the number of unemployed Americans for 16 months, a trend that began in spring 2018 for the first time in nearly two decades. There are currently 6.1 million people officially deemed unemployed.
According to a Labor Department report released Tuesday, there were 51,000 fewer job openings in the private sector in June compared to the month before, while government listings grew by 15,000.
The U.S. economy marked 10 consecutive years of expansion last month, the longest streak on record. And while the economy is still expanding, that growth has slowed so far this year.
On Friday, the government said employers added 164,000 new jobs in July, which is considered solid but falls below the revised 193,000 jobs added in June.
In light of trade wars, lagging inflation and global growth fears, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates last week for the first time since the start of the recession more than a decade ago. The benchmark short-term rate, which influences consumer and business loans from mortgages to credit cards and home equity lines of credit, is now between 2% and 2.25%.
The growth in the gross domestic product, a primary indicator of economic health, dropped to 2.1% in the second quarter, down from 3.1% in the first.
Economists expect yearly growth of about 2.5% in 2019, a decrease from 2.9% last year.