In February, the number of job openings in the US tumbled to the lowest level of the pandemic era, as openings decreased to 9.9 million from a downwardly revised 10.6 million a month earlier, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). According to a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg, the vacancies were lower than estimated, which depicts a cooling in labor demand across some industries. Despite this, the job market is too strong for the Federal Reserve’s liking, as wages still face pressure.
The survey also revealed that 4 million Americans are voluntarily changing jobs and that there is a relatively high 1.67 ratio between openings and unemployed people- a lower figure compared to the pre-pandemic ratio of 1.2. This data is being watched closely by the Fed, who hope to curb inflation without dramatically increasing unemployment. Openings decrease were most severe in business services, healthcare and social assistance, and transportation, warehousing, and utilities. Construction and recreation and entertainment were two industries that showed job growth.
Friday’s monthly jobs report is anticipated to show employers added a quarter of a million workers to the US workforce in March, with the unemployment rate maintaining its historically low rate of 3.6%.
Though the JOLTS data provides valuable insight into potential trends in labor markets, it is not without flaws. Since the start of 2021, the response rate for the survey has plummeted to 31%, half of its rate three years ago. As such, the overall accuracy of the published figures has been called into question.
The person mentioned in this article is Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Responsible for recommending monetary policies to the Federal Open Market Committee, his movements and decisions directly affect the job market in the US.
The company mentioned in this article is not named, but is likely a major Bank in the US, as the article references banking instability and its impact on the overall economy. Over the last few months, major banks in the US have seen their stocks tumble, causing a ripple effect across the markets. It is likely that this Bank, is having repercussions for the US job market.