Job openings fall to lowest level since February 2021

Job openings fell in April to their lowest level since February 2021, as the job market showed further signs of slowing after the hiring boom that followed the reopening of the U.S. economy after the pandemic.

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Tuesday shows there were 8.06 million jobs open at the end of April, down from 8.35 million jobs available in March.

The March figure was revised down from the 8.48 million open jobs initially reported. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the report to show 8.35 million openings in April.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) also showed 5.6 million hires were made during the month, little change from March.

The hiring rate remained at 3.6%, unchanged from March. Also in Tuesday’s report, the resignation rate, a sign of confidence among workers, remained stable at 2.2%.

“The decline in openings indicates a slowing pace of hiring in coming months. However, layoffs remain low, so net job growth should continue to be positive,” wrote Nancy Vanden Houten, chief U.S. economist of Oxford Economics, in a note following Tuesday’s publication.

Investors have been closely watching the JOLTS report, as well as other key labor market data, for signs that slowing labor demand could help ease inflationary pressures, strengthening the case for a Federal Reserve to begin lowering interest rates from 23-year highs.

Vanden Houten noted that the Fed would welcome signs of slowing labor market conditions in the latest JOLTS report, but that the central bank likely needs to see further evidence of falling inflation before cutting rates.

Learn more: How does the labor market affect inflation?

“The labor market remains healthy enough that the Fed’s policy decisions are primarily driven by inflation numbers,” Vanden Houten wrote.

The report kicks off a busy week of labor market data, which will also include updates on private sector hiring and wage growth from ADP on Wednesday, job registrations unemployment on Thursday and the May jobs report on Friday.

The May jobs report is expected to show that 185,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month, with unemployment steady at 3.9%, according to Bloomberg data.

In April, the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs while the unemployment rate increased 0.1% to 3.9%.


A “Now Hiring” sign posted in the window of a business looking to hire workers, May 5, 2023, in Miami, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (Joe Raedle via Getty Images)

Josh Schafer is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on @_joshschafer.

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Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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