CHART OF THE DAY: JOLT Survey And Peak Employment
The recent Job Opening And Labor Turnover Survey was disappointing to say the least. According to the report there were 3.4 million job openings on the last business day of April which was down from 3.7 million in March. The hires and separations rate, both at 3.1 percent, were essentially unchanged in April.
Now, more than 3 years into an economic recovery, the balance between employment and demand may be finding its equilibrium. We have seen economic weakness showing up in many of the economic releases and this has translated into decreased job openings for total nonfarm, total private, and government as well as in manufacturing, professional and business services, and state and local government.
As shown in the chart - when the 4-month average of "Hires Less Job Openings" has previously declined to current levels this has been the peak of employment expansion in the economy. The 4-month average of "Net Hires" also appears to be stagnating around its recent peak as well. With the recent increases in jobless claims, economic weakness and European recession/crisis it is not surprising that employment is waning.