Thursday, July 18, 2024

Job openings drop, federal data shows

by BIZ Magazine

(The Center Square) – The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday released the monthly job openings and labor turnover survey for April. The report indicates a slowing labor market after a post-pandemic boom, with fewer job openings than predicted by economists.

The BLS reported 8.059 million job openings for April, down from 8.4 million in March. The job openings rate for April was 4.8%, down from 5% in March and 6% a year ago.

The March figure was revised down by 133,000 job openings, to 8.4 million.

These levels are below what was forecasted by economists and banks, who projected openings between 8.2 million and 8.35 million.

Openings in health care and social assistance fell by 204,000, and by 59,000 in state and local government education.

In March, the BLS reported 68,000 openings in state and local government education, leaving 9,000 unfilled positions for April.

Both the quits and hires rates remained steady and are now below pre-pandemic levels, indicating a return to a normal balance between supply and demand in the labor market. The number of hires was reported at 5.6 million, up from 5.5 million in March, with a hires rate of 3.6%, a 1% decrease from a year ago.

“The risk of wage-price pressures fueling inflation is falling, which has the Fed breathing easier than a few years ago,: Bill Adams, Chief Economist for Comerica Bank in Dallas, said in a statement.

The number of separations, which refers to the total number of employees who leave their jobs during a specific time period, also remained stable, with 5.4 million total separations in April at a rate of 3.4%.

In April, the number of layoffs and discharges remained relatively stable, decreasing from 1.6 million in March to 1.5 million. These figures exclude people who voluntarily leave their jobs.

“It is all about employment now,” Andrea Lisi wrote X.

Lisi is a quantitative finance and economics analyst in Traverse City, Michigan.

“If companies hold on to workers, the U.S. economy can chug along, but if the unemployment rate spikes, the U.S. consumer will rapidly retrench, and the economy will slow down non-linearly, potentially leading to a recession,” Lisi continued.

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