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The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS reported 11.266 million job openings as of the last day of February, a slight decline from January’s revised 11.283M. Openings continue to outpace hires with employers hiring 6.7M people in February. The hires rate was little changed at 4.4%. The ratio of available workers to job openings held steady at 0.6. Industries contributing to the decrease in job openings include finance and insurance (-63,000) and non-durable goods manufacturers (-39,000). Job openings increased in the arts and entertainment (+32,000), education services (+26,000), and the federal government (+23,000). The number of people who voluntarily left their jobs was little changed at 4.4M. That marks the ninth consecutive month that more than 4M people quit or changed their jobs. The number of people who quit their jobs for other opportunities made up 2.9% of the workforce in February, up slightly from January’s 2.8%. Quitting rose the most in retail (+74,000), durable goods manufacturing (+22,000), and state and local government education (+14,000). Quits decreased in finance and insurance (-30,000). There have been 77.0M hires and 70.6M separations over the past 12 months, resulting in a net employment gain of 6.4M.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ third estimate on fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth reported an economy expanding at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 6.9%, well above the 2.3% pace set in the third quarter, and down slightly over the second estimate of 7.0%. The -0.1% revision was attributed to downward adjustments to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and exports that were partially offset by an upward revision to private inventory investment. For all of 2021, the nation’s GDP grew by 5.7%, the strongest pace since 1984. The acceleration in real GDP was driven by increases in private inventory investment, exports, PCE, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by decreases in both federal and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The increase in private inventory investment was led by retail and wholesale trade industries. Within retail, an upsurge in motor vehicle inventory was a leading contributor. The growth in the exports of goods was driven by consumer goods, foods, feeds, and beverages, as well as industrial supplies and materials. The growth in the exports of services was led by travel. The increase in PCE was led by health care, financial services and insurance, and transportation. The increase in nonresidential fixed investment was driven by an increase in intellectual property products. The decrease in federal government spending primarily reflected reductions in defense spending and COVD-19 government assistance.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 431,000 jobs were added in March, as the unemployment rate edged down to 3.6% with 6.0M unemployed. February 2020’s pre-pandemic reading was 3.5% with 5.7M unemployed. Payrolls were revised up for both January (+23,000) and February (+72,000). The March increase in payrolls was broad with leisure and hospitality (+112K), professional and business services (+102K), retail trade (+49K), and manufacturing (+38K) all contributing. Employment in both professional and business services and retail trade are tracking above pre-pandemic levels, while leisure and hospitality and manufacturing are still below pre-pandemic levels. Average hourly earnings increased 0.4% in March, after a smaller 0.1% bump in February. At $31.73 average hourly earnings are up 5.6% from a year ago. The labor force participation rate or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one edged up to 62.4% from 62.3% in February.
Monday April 4 – Factory Orders (MoM) (February)
Thursday April 7 – Initial Jobless Claims
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