June 25, 2024


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Job opportunities fall to a new low in 3 years

Job opportunities fall to a new low in 3 years

Alison Joyce/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A job seeker takes a flyer at a career fair at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia, North Carolina, on April 11.


The number of job openings in the United States fell for the second month in a row, hitting a new three-year low amid further signs of a slowdown in the labor market.

There were 8.06 million jobs posted available in April, according to the latest Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday. This is lower than the downwardly revised figure of 8.36 million seen in the previous month.

Economists had expected job openings to reach 8.36 million, according to FactSet estimates.

As of April, there were an estimated 1.2 jobs available per job seeker. This is the lowest percentage since June 2021, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.

The labor market has been historically strong over the past two years, providing a solid foundation for heavy consumer spending that has pushed the economy forward despite the accompanying pressures of high inflation and rising interest rates.

Slowing job growth could put the labor market closer to pre-pandemic levels, but it could also mean a slowdown in the broader economy. In its battle against high inflation, the Fed wants to see demand decline and price increases slow before cutting interest rates.

In addition to the decline in job openings, other measures of labor turnover showed minimal movement in April. The exit rate, which measures voluntary separation as a percentage of total employment, stabilized at 2.2% for the sixth month in a row.

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The number of new employees rose slightly to 5.64 million from 5.62 million; Total smoking cessations rose to 3.51 million from 3.41 million; The number of layoffs fell to 1.52 million from 1.6 million in March.

Layoffs are at their lowest level since December 2022.

This story is evolving and will be updated.