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US Job Openings Fall to Lowest Level in Three Years

US Job Openings Fall to Lowest Level in Three Years

Jun 4, 2024

US Job Openings Fall to Lowest Level in Three Years

In a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of job openings in the United States for April fell to the lowest level in over three years.

The April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) indicated that job openings decreased to 8.06 million, down from a downwardly revised 8.36 million in March. The latest figures fell short of economists' expectations, with the reduction in openings contributing to a decrease in the ratio of vacancies per unemployed worker to the lowest point in nearly three years.

The decline was widespread across several industries. Health care and social assistance saw a notable decrease of 204,000 job openings, with state and local government education also experiencing a reduction of 59,000 positions. Meanwhile, private educational services saw an increase in job openings, adding 50,000 positions.

Despite these trends, the construction industry showed some resilience, with a dramatic upward revision of March job openings from 274K to 346K. However, April still marked a slight drop to 338K in construction job openings, continuing a two-month downward trend.

The number of quits, a metric reflecting workers' confidence in the labor market, rebounded by 98K to 3.507 million in April. Hiring rates remained relatively flat, with April showing a modest increase to 5.640 million from 5.617 million in March. This rate is now close to the lowest since January 2018.

However, the BLS has acknowledged that the real number of job openings may be even lower than reported due to a low response rate to the JOLTS survey, which currently stands at around 33%. As a result, approximately 70% of the final job openings number is estimated.

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