Job openings rise to a record high

There were a record 5.788 million job openings in the US in April, according to the latest Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

Economists had forecast that there were 5.675 million job openings during that month, according to Bloomberg. The number of openings in March was revised down to 5.670 million from 5.757 million.

Hiring slowed, as the total number of hires fell slightly to 5.1 million and the rate edged down to 3.5% from 3.7%.

In a speech on Monday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen referenced the previous record number of job openings as a sign that the labour-market has been positive overall, even after new job additions fell to a six-year low last month.

“All in all, Chair Yellen’s basis for optimism in a resumption of job growth appears on relatively solid grounds — although she fails to instill confidence in business leaders to embark on a path of stronger hiring,” said John Herrmann, a rates strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ.

He added that given the record number of job openings, forward-market expectations for the Fed to not raise rates in the next 18 months are too pessimistic.

The JOLTS report also included the quits rate — the share of employees voluntarily resigning — which fell to 2% from 2.1%.

This is one of Yellen’s top indicators of the labour market because it shows how confident workers are in the jobs market.

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