- 1440 Daily Digest
Job Vacancies Drop
US job openings dropped to 9.59 million in March, roughly 1.6 million fewer than in December, according to government data released yesterday. Analysts claim the figure—the lowest level in nearly two years—indicates the tight labor market is normalizing, which the Federal Reserve sees as a necessary step in reducing inflation (see explanation).
The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey—which is separate from the nonfarm payroll report and lags it by one month—saw hires remain even at 6.1 million, while layoffs increased to 1.8 million. The industries with the steepest declines in vacancies were transportation, warehousing, and utilities. The quits rate—or the number of workers opting to leave their job—also declined. See data here.
Since last year, the Fed has raised interest rates nine times as part of its dual mandate (see 101) to stabilize prices and maximize employment. The Fed is expected to raise rates again today, bringing the benchmark federal funds rate to a range of 5%-5.25%.