Job openings in America are near a record high

source
BLS

Job openings in the US are still near a record high.

There were 5.757 million openings in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (or JOLTS.)

Economists had estimated that there were 5.45 million job openings according to Bloomberg.

The March print is second only to the high of 5.788 million recorded last July.

“The number of job openings is not a reliable short-term leading indicator of payrolls, but it does suggest that employers remain very keen to hire, consistent with our view that the below-consensus April payroll number will prove afluke,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson.

Openings were fewer in retail trade, education and wholesale trade. Hires fell slightly to 5.3 million, and there were 5 million total separations, which includes quits, layoffs and discharges.

The JOLTS report, one of Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s favorites on the labor market, also included the quits rate, which held steady at 2.1%, just under the decade high of 2.2%.

The quits rate is an indication of how confident workers are in finding new jobs if they resign.

Friday’s jobs report for April showed that nonfarm payrolls grew by a below-consensus 160,000. It indicated that even though some companies slowed hiring on economic growth concerns, the pool of unemployed workers kept shrinking as the economy neared full employment.

Catherine Rampell at the Washington Post flagged this chart, which shows that the number of unemployed per job opening has fallen to a post-recession low:

source
BLS