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Job Openings Dip as Hiring Hits Record High

Job Openings Dip as Hiring Hits Record High

By    |   Monday, 10 June 2019 12:37 PM

U.S. job openings fell slightly in April as hiring surged to a record high, government data showed on Monday.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, slipped to a seasonally adjusted 7.4 million from 7.5 million in March, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS.

The job openings rate was unchanged at 4.7%.  The quits rate held at 2.3%, matching the highest level of the economic expansion and suggesting workers remain confident in their ability to find a job.

Hiring jumped by 240,000 jobs in April to 5.9 million, the highest level since the government started tracking the series in 2000. The hiring rate increased to 3.9% from 3.8% in March.

The economy created 75,000 jobs in May after adding 224,000 positions in April, the government reported last Friday. The unemployment rate was unchanged near a 50-year low of 3.6%.

Key Insights

  • Total vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed Americans by 1.63 million, a record in data since 2000. That may support the idea that part of the reason behind May’s hiring slowdown owed to employers’ difficulty finding qualified workers amid the lowest jobless rate in a half-century.
  • However, openings may ebb in coming months as slowing economic growth and uncertainty around President Donald Trump’s trade policies lead companies to postpone hiring and investment decisions.
  • Labor Department figures released Friday showed U.S. employers added 75,000 jobs in May, the fewest in three months, after a downwardly revised though still-strong 224,000 advance in April. The four-month average gain was the slowest since 2012, suggesting the labor market is showing signs of strain.
  • The quits rate has held at 2.3% since June 2018. The most recent report showed 3.48 million Americans left their jobs, up slightly from the prior month. Federal Reserve officials watch the rate for signs of upward pressure on worker pay that may feed into inflation.
  • Hiring edged up to 5.94 million while separations also climbed, to 5.58 million.
  • Total hires rose to a record high as construction and education and health services reached new peaks. Manufacturing, which has faced headwinds from slowing global growth and trade tensions, saw openings match a record 501,000. At the same time, professional and business services saw the fewest postings in almost a year.
  • Openings fell in three of four regions, while those in the Midwest rose a second month.
  • Although it lags a month behind other Labor Department data, the JOLTS report adds context to monthly employment figures by measuring dynamics such as resignations, help-wanted ads and hiring.

Material from Bloomberg and Reuters has been used in this report.

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U.S. job openings remained near a record in April, signaling demand for workers was firm ahead of weaker hiring in the following month that’s raised concerns the economy is slowing.
job, openings, hiring, labor
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2019-37-10
Monday, 10 June 2019 12:37 PM
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