The US labor market numbers have been showing two contrasting signals of growth and cooling. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 9.9 million job openings in February, up 42% from pre-pandemic levels, yet other data sources are pointing to a declining demand for workers. It is believed that fake job listings and no longer relevant postings might be inflating the job openings data. A survey from small-business lender Clarify Capital revealed that nearly half of hiring managers admitted to leaving job openings up to maintain the illusion of company growth, and one quarter admitted to forgetting to delete an outdated job opening.
The false impression of a booming job market might be misleading the Federal Reserve when assessing the inflation levels in the economy. Therefore, the central bank should take into account the potential discrepancies in the job openings count when making their decisions.
Ben Winck of Reuters Breakingviews highlights the potential issues of the job openings reported by the federal government and the need to accurately interpret the data to get an outlook on the present state of the US labor market.
ZipRecruiter is a leading online job marketplace that offers millions of jobs – hundreds of newly posted jobs daily – to job seekers across the United States. According to the site, job postings have decreased to pre-pandemic levels as artificial job listings and outdated postings complicate the monthly job openings count reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ben Winck is a business and economic journalist, specialized in finance and banking from the UK. He is a column writer for the Reuters Breakingviews, where he covers finances, international banking, economic and fiscal policies. Since the start of his editorial career, he has contributed to Wall Street Journal, New York Times and CNBC.