US Job Openings Unexpectantly Rise First Time in Four Months

Job openings in the U.S. surprised forecasters in April by rising 358,000 to reach 10.1 million in April 2023, surpassing market expectations of 9.375 million. The resilience is putting pressure on the Fed and fueling the higher rates for longer scenario. Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey (JOLTS) represented a rebound from the previous month’s near two-year low of 9.745 million. The most openings were in retail trade (209 thousand); health care and social assistance (185 thousand); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (154 thousand). 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 (April data). The BLS March employment report will be released on Friday with expectations for May Nonfarm Payrolls to have increased by less than 200,000 in May, compared to the monthly average of 370,000 over the past year. The report is expected to show signs of a cooling US jobs market in May. Earnings are forecast to have increased by 0.3 percent in May, compared to April.

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 April 2023 Highlights

  • Job openings 10.103m vs 9.375m expected
  • Prior was 9.59m
  • Hires 3.9% vs 4.0% prior
  • Separations rate 3.7% vs 2.5% prior
  • Quits 2.4% vs 2.5% prior
United States Job Openings

Bond Yields Rise on Fed Concerns

The entire complex slipped after the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey for April showed the first increase in four months. The USD jumped on this report. The market is pricing in a 62% chance of a June hike.


  • 2-yr: -5 bps to 4.44%
  • 3-yr: -3 bps to 4.11%
  • 5-yr: -1 bp to 3.81%
  • 10-yr: -1 bp to 3.69%
  • 30-yr: UNCH at 3.90%


  • In April, the number of hires was little changed at 6.1 million, and the rate held at 3.9 percent.
  • Hires decreased in information (-37,000).


  • The number of total separations decreased to 5.7 million (-286,000) in April, and the rate was little changed at 3.7 percent. Over the month, the number of total separations was little changed in all industries.
  • In April, the number and rate of quits changed little at 3.8 million and 2.4 percent, respectively. The number of quits increased in wholesale trade (+29,000) but decreased in state and local government, excluding education (-18,000).
  • In April, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges decreased to 1.6 million (-264,000) and 1.0 percent, respectively. Layoffs and discharges decreased in construction (-113,000) and in information (-33,000).
  • The number of other separations was little changed in April at 333,000. Other separations increased in health care and social assistance (+24,000), state and local government, excluding education (+10,000), and mining and logging (+2,000).
  • Other separations decreased in accommodation and food services (-18,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-3,000).

Separation Definition

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 April, establishments with 1 to 9 employees saw an increase in their job openings rate and a decrease
in their layoffs and discharges rate. Establishments with more than 5,000 employees saw an increase in
both their job openings and hires rates

Layoffs Increasing

Companies such as Amazon, 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 April employment numbers on Friday.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for May 2023 are scheduled to be released on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. (ET)

Source: TradersCommunity Data, BLS

From The TradersCommunity News Desk