Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) published by the Labor Department on
Tuesday revealed an 8.0 percent m-o-m surge in the U.S. job openings in May after
a revised 16.9 percent m-o-m decline in April (originally a 16.1 percent m-o-m
According to the report, employers posted 5.397 million job openings in May compared to the April figure of 4.996 million (revised from 5.046 million in the original estimate) and economists’ expectations of 4.850 million. The job openings rate was 3.9 percent in May, down from an unrevised 3.7 percent in the prior month. The report showed that job openings rose in accommodation and food services (+196,000 jobs), retail trade (+147,000), and construction (+118,000), but decreased in information (-55,000), federal government (-37,000), and educational services (-27,000).
Meanwhile, the number of hires jumped by 60.3 percent m-o-m to 6.487 million in May from a revised 4.047 million in April. This was the largest monthly increase of hires since the series began. The hiring rate increased to 4.9 percent in May from a revised 3.1 percent in April. The hires level increased for total private (+2,432,000) and was little changed for government. Within industries, hires rose in a number of industries, with the greatest rise in accommodation and food services (+763,000), followed by health care and social assistance (+479,000), and construction (+427,000).
The separation rate in May was 4.145 million or 3.1 percent, compared to 9.975 million or 7.6 percent in April. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.6 percent (+0.2 pp m-o-m), and the layoffs rate was 1.4 percent (-4.5 pp m-o-m).
The improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it, the report noted.
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