The latest job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that there were 6.550 million job openings in America in March (lagged release). That was significantly better than expected and a new all-time high. Most of the new vacancies in March were found in the professional and business services (+112,000), construction (+68,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+37,000) sectors.
Total hires, though, fell in March to the lowest level in half a year, arguably an encouraging sign that much of the excess slack still in the labor market has been eliminated. Moreover, the number of unemployed Americans per job opening fell to a record low in March, and the ratio of quits to layoffs and discharges rose to an all-time high. Both of those measures therefore signal an overall healthy labor market with U.S. workers increasingly willing to give up their current job security for better employment opportunities (upward pressure on wages).
Sources: Econoday, U.S. DoL, UoM, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch