There were 5.445 million job openings in February, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Economists had forecast that there were 5.490 million openings, down from 5.541 million in the prior month, according to Bloomberg.
The report also showed that hires increased to 5.4 million, while separations were little changed at 5.1 million.
Additionally, the quits rate was at 2.1%, up from the previous month’s 2.0%.
“In one line: Openings have peaked but remain extremely high; quits rising,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ chief economist Ian Shepherdson wrote after the data crossed.
“The monthly swings in job openings are wild and subject to substantial revision, so the key points here are that the level of the job openings is extremely high but appears to have stopped rising in recent months. Still, the numbers remain consistent with very rapid payroll growth,” he added.
Additionally, the Fed was likely looking for both the quits rate and hires to rebound in February, consistent with that month’s strong employment report, Deutsche Bank’s Joseph LaVorgna wrote in a note to clients ahead of the report.
“In Yellen’s view, the former represents business’ confidence with respect to the demand outlook, while the latter is an indication of rising worker confidence about the labor market. In fact, the quits rate has historically been a leading indicator of wage inflation, which is key with respect to income growth,” LaVorgna noted ahead of the report.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics