Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey for March (JOLTS) were reported as openings falling by more than 384,000 to 9.6 million, the lowest level since April 2021 and below the market’s expectation of 9.775 million. The sharp fall revives questions about the strength of the labor market, and therefore the broader economy. Treasuries bounced sharply off the release and stocks and the US dollar both fell with force. Job openings decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-144,000) but rose in educational services (+28,000).
For perspective note this report lags the BLS jobs report by one month, which is released Friday.
JOLTS is the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey published by the BLS.
The JOLTS job data is a favored measure for the Fed, but it is on a lag (March data). The BLS March employment report will be released on Friday with expectations for April Nonfarm Payrolls (consensus 180,000; prior 236,000), Nonfarm Private Payrolls (consensus 160,000; prior 189,000),
The JOLTS survey is the Labor Department’s report on job openings, quitting, hiring and layoffs and offers clues on the trajectory of the U.S. labor market. Job openings still greatly exceed the number of unemployed people seeking work and private-sector estimates show labor demand remains high but slowing with the economy loses steam.
JOLTS March 2023 Highlights
- Job openings 9.6M. vs 9.775M expected
- Prior was 9.964M
- Job openings rate 5.8% in March, down by 1.0 percentage point since December.
- In March, Job openings decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-144,000) but increased in educational services (+28,000).
- Quits rate 2.5% vs 2.6% last month, changed little at 3.9 million. The number of quits decreased in accommodation and food services (-178,000).
- Hires 4.0% vs 4.0% last month. Total hires were little changed at 6.1 million. Hires decreased in real estate and rental and leasing (-29,000).
- In March, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges increased to 1.8 million (+248,000) and 1.2 percent, respectively.
- Layoffs and discharges increased in construction (+112,000), accommodation and food services (+63,000), and health care and social assistance (+42,000).
Bond Yields fall sharply on Recession Concerns
2-yr: -15 bps to 3.97%
3-yr: -15 bps to 3.69%
5-yr: -17 bps to 3.47%
10-yr: -14 bps to 3.44%
30-yr: -9 bps to 3.73%
The US dollar fell to lows of the day across the board and US Dollar Index slipped 0.2% to 101.93.
- In March, the number of hires was little changed at 6.1 million
- The rate held at 4.0 percent.
- Hires decreased in real estate and rental and leasing (-29,000).
- In March the number of total separations changed little at 5.9 million in March, and the rate was 3.8 percent for the fourth month in a row. Over the month, the number of total separations decreased in accommodation and food services (-107,000) but increased in construction (+104,000).
- In March, the number and rate of quits changed little at 3.9 million and 2.5 percent, respectively. The number of quits decreased in accommodation and food services (-178,000).
- In March, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges increased to 1.8 million (+248,000) and 1.2 percent, respectively. Layoffs and discharges increased in construction (+112,000), accommodation and food services (+63,000), and health care and social assistance (+42,000).
- The number of other separations was little changed in March at 276,000. Other separations decreased in finance and insurance (-31,000) and in real estate and rental and leasing (-7,000).
Total separations include quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations include separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm
Establishment Size Class
In March, establishments with 1 to 9 employees saw a decrease in their job openings rate and an
increase in their layoffs and discharges rate. Establishments with more than 5,000 employees saw little
change in their job openings, hires, and total separations rates.
Companies such as Netflix Inc. and Tesla Inc., along with Ford Motor Co., Walmart Inc., Robinhood Markets Inc. Redfin Corp. Stanley Black & Decker Inc., Corteva Inc., Compass Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., have started to lay off employees or leave jobs unfilled to reduce their costs in an uncertain economy.
The Labor Department will release its March employment numbers on Friday.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for March 2023 are scheduled to be released on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).
Source: TradersCommunity Data, BLS
From The TradersCommunity News Desk