Job openings in the U.S. plunged slightly last April, but a spike in hiring up to a record high implied better demand for labor before the latest surge in trade tensions that was partially held liable for the keen slowdown of employment growth in the previous month.
On Monday, the Labor Department released the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey or JOLTS reports that displayed accumulation in layoffs, though it stayed at a historically low rate.
The tension about the outstanding U.S.-China trade war heightened succeeding President Donald Trump’s action last May to impose extra tariffs up to 25% on $200-billion worth of Chinese goods, forcing retaliation from Beijing.
Meanwhile, the imposition of tariffs on Mexico was averted as U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement late on Friday. Mexico agreed to quickly act on an asylum program and assign security forces to handle the course immigrants crossing the border into the United States.
Daniel Silver, JPMorgan’s economist, based in New York, said that the April JOLTS might not be the most useful barometer regarding the actual labor market status. He said that for what it is worth, data from JOLTS might imply that the labor market conditions overall stayed favorable as of last April.
The government said that job openings, a gauge of demand in labor, plunged to a seasonally adapted 7.4 million from 7.5 million last March. Job openings rate was unaltered at 4.7%. But, hiring spiked by 240,000 jobs last April to 5.9 million. This is the highest level it reached since the government began tracking the data in 2000. Hiring rate jumped from March’s 3.8% to 3.9% in April.
The economy generated only 75,000 jobs this May following the addition of 224,000 positions in last, the government said on Friday. The unemployment rate remains unchanged near a 50-year record low at 3.6%.
Job openings may have been gearing sideways after scoring an all-time of 7.6 million last November. Many economists saw this as an indicator that the labor market was slacking off, notwithstanding the effects of trade tensions on the hiring decision of the companies.
In April. Vacancies in the federal government jumped by 22,000 jobs. However, job opening in the business and professional sector plunged by 172,000. The rise in hiring is mostly from the private sector, while employers from the rental and leasing and real estate industries filled up 34,000 vacancies last April.
Data on the number of workers leaving their jobs were little altered at 3.5 million last April, maintaining quit rates at only 2.3% for the past 11 months. Economists and policymakers deem the measures as a gauge of confidence in the job market.
In April, layoffs raised from 1.1% to 1.2% of the previous month. Layoffs rate jumped in the real estate and rental and leasing industry.
New York’s RDQ Economics chief economist John Ryding said that while the data clearly predate the payroll report in May, they do display that there were no indicators of labor market demand starting to wither. Lastly, he noted that payroll growth would bounce back this June.