U.S. job vacancies and quits hit record highs in March

  • Job vacancies rise by 205,000 to 11.5 million in March
  • Hiring falls by 95,000 to 6.7 million
  • Resignations rise by 152,000 to a record 4.5 million

WASHINGTON, May 3 (Reuters) – U.S. job openings hit a record high in March as labor shortages persisted, suggesting employers may continue to raise wages and help keep inflation uncomfortably high.

The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, also showed on Tuesday that a record 4.5 million people voluntarily quit their jobs, underscoring growing wage pressures . The government announced last week that the compensation of American workers recorded its largest increase in more than three decades in the first quarter. Read more

“For the economy, this points to another strong jobs report on Friday, and for workers, this means continued strong wage increases, especially for those changing jobs,” said economist Robert Frick. corporate at the Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Virginia. “Things will likely continue well into this year as the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the labor market are unlikely to gain traction for months.”

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Job postings, a measure of labor demand, rose by 205,000 to 11.5 million on the last day of March. The second consecutive monthly increase took job openings to the highest level since the series began in 2000. The retail sector led the rise, with an additional 155,000 unfilled jobs. Durable goods manufacturers reported an additional 50,000 job vacancies.

But job openings fell by 69,000 in the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry. State and local education had 43,000 fewer vacancies, while federal government job openings fell by 20,000.

Job postings rose in the South but fell in the Northeast, Midwest and West. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 11 million job vacancies.

BLOWS

The JOLTS data is being watched closely by Federal Reserve officials, who have adopted aggressive monetary policy as they battle runaway inflation, with annual consumer prices rising at rates last seen a year ago. is 40 years old.

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates by half a percentage point on Wednesday and is expected to begin trimming its holdings soon. The US central bank raised its key rate by 25 basis points in March.

The job creation rate went from 7.0% in February to 7.1%. Hiring fell by 95,000 jobs to 6.7 million in March.

Resignations rose by 152,000, bringing the total to a record 4.5 million. They were concentrated in the professional and business services industry, where quits increased by 88,000. In the construction sector, quits rose by 69,000. The number of quits rose in the South and West .

The resignation rate fell from 2.9% in February to 3.0%. The quit rate is seen by policymakers and economists as a measure of confidence in the labor market. The higher quits rate suggests that wage inflation will likely continue to pile up as companies scramble to recruit workers.

Layoffs increased in March, but remained at low levels.

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Reporting by Lucia Mutikani Editing by Paul Simao

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