U.S. Job Openings Rose More than Expected in March

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The measure of labor market demand rose by 205,000 jobs in March to 11.5 million. This was the highest level since the data were collected in 2000 and exceeded analysts’ forecasts of 11.0 million.

The job openings rate rose to 7.1% from 7.0% in February, while employment remained stable at 6.7 million.

The number of voluntary resignations rose to 4.5 million, the highest level on record. While the unemployment rate rose to 3.0%.

Voluntary resignation figures are an indication of the confidence of workers who are expected to find better paying jobs.

The JOLTS figure is a focus of the Federal Reserve (Fed) as a measure of tightness in the labor market. This is a factor in the Fed’s monetary policy and interest rates.

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