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Slow March to Normal – Job Openings Lowest in 3 Years. And That’s Just Fine for the Federal Reserve

“Nobody is placing big bets on this economy right now. The jobs openings number remains frozen in time as businesses look for direction in the economy. That’s likely going to come in the November election. Until then, the slow march to normal JOLTS numbers continues.” -- RedBalloon CEO Andrew Crapuchettes 

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the US economy had 8.1 million job openings in the month of April. This is down from the previous month at 8.5 million. Hire and separations were at 5.6 million and 5.4 million respectively.


“Businesses thrive on predictability. But this economy has been anything but predictable. Now, labor demand is at a three year low as companies remain in a holding pattern searching for direction in this economy," Crapuchettes continued.

 

Charts: 

 

This report confirms findings from the May Freedom Economy Index, a survey of 80,000 small business owners, which showed that 71% of employers say they are neither hiring nor reducing staff, the highest reading of the past year and another sign of ongoing caution by small business owners.


In addition, nearly 4 in 10 small business owners now believe the Fed will raise rates in 2024, signaling a sharp reversal of sentiment from just 3 months ago. 

Whatever the outcome is in the November election, small business owners are clearly waiting to find out before they go all in on the labor market. Read the full May Freedom Economy Index results here. Read the full May JOLTS here.

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