The only important information on the economy released this morning is the job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s favorite labor market indicators. Specifically, there were 5.788 million U.S. job openings in April (lagged), an increase from March’s downward-revised figure and matching the all-time high hit in July of last year. However, total hires slid to 5.092 million in April, the worst reading since last August, and the overall U.S. hiring rate fell to 3.5 percent, a nearly 2-year low. The quits rate, a leading indicator of wage inflation, also slipped in April but the number of unemployed workers per job opening fell to 1.28, the best reading since 2001. Further, the ratio of quits to layoffs and discharges rose to 1.77 in April, one of the highest readings of the recovery and a sign of American workers’ increased willingness to give up their current job security for better employment opportunities.
Sources: Econoday, Twitter, Bloomberg, U.S. Department of Labor, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch