Labor market indicator JOLTS exceeds 9 million for the first time

On June 8 at 10:00 EST (22:00 GMT), the Bureau of Labor Statistics under the U.S. Department of Labor released the results of the April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The JOLTS is currently the favorite labor market indicator of U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen.

According to the data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the same day, the number of unemployed people corresponding to each job opening has declined for a year after hitting a high of 5.0 last year, and has fallen to 1.06 this month, closer to the low of 0.8 to 0.9 in 2018-2020, showing that the employment situation in the market is still improving.

Yellen concern about the number of independent separations rose sharply in the month, recording 3.985 million people, a record high, while the independent separation rate was 2.7%, both data relative to the last survey appeared significantly higher.

In terms of recruitment, the overall number of hires in April was 6.075 million, with a hiring rate of 4.2%, the fourth consecutive month of increase.

For the report released today, some analysts believe that the U.S. job openings in April hit a record high again after March, highlighting that the heat of labor demand is increasing as companies gradually get out of the new crown restrictions and the economy picks up.

Bloomberg said after the data was released that while companies are starting to hire as the economy reopens, child care obligations, lingering health problems, skill mismatches, and high unemployment benefits are still keeping many Americans from returning to the workforce, and that made the number of job openings in April 3.2 million more than the number of hires, the largest difference on record.

The financial blog ZeroHedge also cited data saying that market demand for labor is increasing at a rapid pace, as the number of unemployed in April was only 526,000 more than the number of job openings, down from 1.4 million in March, compared to 18.1 million in April last year. But at the same time, as hiring rose, the Biden administration’s economic stimulus package and the sharp rise in unemployment benefits sent job separations soaring at the same time.

The U.S. non-farm payrolls data released last week recorded 559,000 in May, better than the 266,000 in the last survey, but still below market expectations of 675,000. The unemployment rate in May was 5.8%, expected 5.9%, and the previous value 6.1%. In addition, the market expected average hourly earnings to increase by 1.6% year-over-year before the data was released, but the actual increase was 2.0%. After the data was released, some agencies noted that May added twice as many jobs as April, but the decline in the participation rate and the continued spike in hourly earnings suggest that the labor supply shortage continues to be a problem.

It should be noted that the JOLTS survey data will be released with a one-month lag relative to non-farm payrolls.