Chart Talk: June 5th 2024


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Job Openings and Labor TurnoverSummary (JOLTS) on the last business day of April totaled 8.059 million (-18.6%y/y), down 296,000 from 8.355 million during March and well off its peak of12.182 million in  March 2022.  This compares to hires, which rose 23,000 to5.640 million leaving a gap of approximately 2.419 million between job openingsand those available to work, down 569,000 from one month prior.  (See chart below.)  The fact that the difference between thenumber of Job Openings shrank compared to the number of Jobs Filled (hires)potentially indicates a weakening labor market.


On an industry-by-industry basis, demandfor leisure and hospitality workers declined as did the demand for thoseindividuals seeking employment in information technology.  The former may very well be an indication ofa pullback in travel while the latter the beginning of the impact of ArtificialIntelligence (AI).


The total number of Job Separations, whichincludes quits, layoffs, discharges and other separations rose 42,000 to 5.372million in April from 5.330 million in March. Quits rose by 98,000 to 3.507 million in April from 3.409 million inMarch.  The quits rate remained at 2.2%for the sixth consecutive month.

The reason behind today’s “Chart Talk” isthat it sets the stage for Friday’s release of the Non-Farm Payroll Report forthe month of May by the Department of Labor. Investors will watch closely to see if the weakness indicated by theJOLTS report above as well as that from (Automatic Data Processing (ADP) whichreported that companies added 152,000 jobs during May, below the 188,000 addedduring April as well as below the consensus estimate of 125,000.


Analysts expect the Department of Labor toreport on Friday that payrolls rose by 170,000 during May.

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