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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Job Openings in the US Drop to Lowest Level in Nearly 3 Years, Manufacturing Sector Continues to Struggle

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WASHINGTON —‌ The U.S. job market is showing signs of‌ cooling⁢ as job openings fell ​to ​a nearly three-year low in November. This could⁢ potentially lead to the Federal Reserve cutting⁣ interest rates this year, ​which may​ impact the overall economy.

According ‍to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‍the ⁢number of people quitting ⁤their jobs to seek⁢ better positions has also decreased, reaching the lowest level⁢ since February 2021. This shift in the labor market could result in a moderation of wage growth and contribute to lower inflation.

Despite these changes, the labor market remains relatively strong, with 1.4 job openings for every‌ unemployed person. However, layoffs ⁢have also decreased to ⁣the lowest level since​ December 2022. As a result, financial markets are anticipating​ a‌ potential⁢ rate cut by the Federal Reserve as early as ‍March.

Job Openings ⁣and Labor Turnover

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report revealed that job ‍openings​ decreased by 62,000 to 8.790 million by the end of November, marking the lowest level since March 2021. Economists⁣ had forecasted ⁤8.850 million job openings, indicating a larger decline than‍ expected.

While some industries ‌experienced a decrease in job vacancies, others saw an increase. For example, the⁣ transportation,⁣ warehousing, and utilities⁤ industry reported 128,000 fewer open positions, while the⁣ wholesale trade sector saw an increase‍ of⁢ 63,000 vacancies. The overall job vacancy rate⁤ remained‍ unchanged ‍at 5.3%.

Hiring ‍also saw a decline, falling by 363,000⁤ to 5.465 million. The ​professional and business services sector‌ reported ⁤a significant decrease in hiring,⁢ leading to a drop in the hires ⁤rate from 3.7%⁢ to⁢ 3.5%.

Resignations decreased by 157,000 to 3.471 ‌million, with the professional and business ‌services sector leading the decline. The quits rate, which is considered a measure of labor market confidence, fell to 2.2% after holding ⁢at⁣ 2.3% for four consecutive⁣ months.

Despite these changes, the job market is expected to continue supporting the economy and potentially prevent a recession this year, as companies are ‍holding onto workers following challenges in finding labor‌ post-COVID-19.

Focus on Payrolls

Following the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold its policy rate steady, attention is now on ‍the release of the Labor⁢ Department’s‍ December employment report. The report is expected to show an increase in nonfarm⁢ payrolls, with the unemployment rate forecasted to edge up to 3.8% from ‌3.7% in November.

Manufacturing, which has been impacted by higher borrowing ‍costs, continues to face ‍challenges. The ⁤Institute ⁢for Supply Management reported‍ that its manufacturing PMI increased⁤ to 47.4 in ⁢December, indicating a contraction‍ in manufacturing for the 14th consecutive‍ month.

While ‍production at factories rebounded,⁤ subdued demand‌ has⁣ led to‍ further price depressions at the factory gate, suggesting that goods deflation could persist.‍ Factory employment also picked up, although it remained weak⁤ amid attrition, hiring freezes, and layoffs.

As ‍the ⁢job market and ⁢manufacturing sector continue to ⁢evolve,⁣ the Federal Reserve’s decisions and economic projections will play a crucial role in shaping the economic landscape ⁣in the coming months.

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Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Disagree. This decline could be a temporary setback due to various factors like economic fluctuations. We should focus on long-term trends and potential solutions for the manufacturing sector’s growth instead.

  2. Disagree. It’s crucial to analyze the underlying causes behind this decline and devise strategies for sustainable growth rather than dismissing it as a mere short-term setback.

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