According to the January job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings in the US decreased less than expected. The decline in job openings is a measure of demand in the labor market.
Job openings fell by 410,000 to 10.8 million in January, which was less than the 10.5 million jobs that analysts had predicted. However, there was an increase in the number of job openings in December, which rose to 11.2 million from 11.0 million.
The rise in job openings amid tight labor market conditions is expected to support the rebound of inflation, as employees have the bargaining power to request a wage increase from their employers. This strong labor data is also expected to be a factor in the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to raise interest rates.
The JOLTS numbers are considered an important measure of tightness in the labor market and are a factor in monetary policy considerations and Fed interest rates. Employment rose to 6.37 million, while layoffs rose to 1.72 million, and voluntary resignations fell to 3.89 million.
The latest JOLTS report suggests that the US labor market is gradually recovering from the pandemic-induced recession, although there are still challenges to overcome. The Fed will be closely monitoring these developments as it considers future monetary policy actions.