Source: Reuters
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  • The US jobs market remains at near record-high levels despite a slight dip over April, according to new data from the Labor Department
  • Job openings fell by around 455,000 to 11.4 million in April, but layoffs were at a record low of 1.24 million and mostly concentrated in small businesses
  • Hiring fell by 59,000 over April, leaving the hires rate unchanged at 4.4 per cent — meaning there were 74 per cent more job openings than hires
  • While job openings declined in the health care and social assistance industry and the retail sector, there were more jobs available in transport, warehousing and utilities
  • Essentially, the new jobs data shows that in April, there were 1.92 job openings for every unemployed person in the US

The US jobs market remains at near record-high levels despite a slight dip over April, according to new data from the Labor Department.

While job openings fell by around 455,000 to 11.4 million in April, layoffs were at a record low of 1.24 million and mostly concentrated in small businesses. Inversely, involuntary departures, or quits, remained high, with some 4.4 million Americans willingly resigning from their positions in April.

This suggests the jobs market is still hot in the States and offers some hope that wages will rise as employers fight to keep their workers. It comes as the US Federal Reserve, still battling soaring inflation, works to bring the supply and demand of labour back into alignment without sending the unemployment rate too high.

The continued strength of labour demand in the States suggests the Fed’s aggressive monetary policy stance to combat inflation has not yet cooled demand in the overall economy.

This is further supported by the fact that activity at factories picked up in May as demand for goods stayed strong.

Job vacancies in the health care and social assistance industry declined by 266,000 over April, while job openings across the retail sector fell by 162,000.

However, job openings in transport, warehousing, and utilities increased by 97,000 in April, and there were 67,000 more jobs available in nondurable goods manufacturing.

Hiring fell by 59,000 over April, leaving the hires rate unchanged at 4.4 per cent — meaning there were 74 per cent more job openings than hires. Moreover, this gap between available jobs and available workers remains high even when accounting for unemployed Americans who want work but are not actively looking for a job.

The April data means the US labour market has added more than 6.5 million jobs over the past year. While much of this can be attributed to a recovery from COVID-induced struggles, the labour market is on pace to return to pre-pandemic levels over the next few months.

Essentially, the new jobs data shows that in April, there were 1.92 job openings for every unemployed person in the US.

It should be noted, however, that this stat could be inflated by companies listing openings on multiple sites or keeping listings up even after jobs had been filled.

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