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Job openings and the level of people leaving the job reached records in March




A “now hires” sign has been hung on the window of an ice cream shop in Los Angeles, California on January 28, 2022.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty pictures

Job openings exceeded the level of available workers by 5.6 million in March while a record number of people quit their jobs, the Ministry of Labor reported on Tuesday.

The level of job advertisements reached 1[ads1]1.55 million for the month, also a new record for data dating back to December 2000, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. It was up 205,000 from February and representative of a labor market that is still historically tight.

At the same time, there were a total of 4.54 million final placements, an increase of 152,000 from last month as the so-called large layoff continued. The pandemic era has seen opportunities for workers who feel safe enough to leave their current situations for better employment elsewhere.

The report adds an inflation picture that is expected to push the Federal Reserve into a series of aggressive interest rate hikes, starting with a half percentage point pull on Wednesday.

A shortage of labor during the pandemic has caused an increase in wages, with the average hourly wage up 5.6% from a year ago in March. Nevertheless, it has not kept pace with inflation, which has run at 8.5% in the same time period.

The supply failed to keep up with demand in March, with the level of new hires actually falling slightly to 6.74 million despite the increase in openings. Total separations increased to 6.32 million, an increase of almost 4% from February.

The number of vacancies decreased in the central labor and hospitality industry, fell by 45,000, a fall of 2.6% on a monthly basis, while employment increased by 40,000. The sector is considered a key factor in the economic recovery and has an unemployment rate of 5 , 9%, still slightly higher than the level before the pandemic.

Tuesday’s release comes the same week as the key report on non-farm wages in April. Economists surveyed by the Dow Jones expect an increase of 400,000 jobs and a decline in unemployment to 3.5%, which will match the pre-pandemic which was the lowest since December 1969.



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