Job Openings Dip, But So Do Layoffs

What Wednesday’s Economic Reports Tell Us

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The number of job openings slipped slightly from March’s record high, and demand for mortgages reached a new low since 2018, reports showed Wednesday.

Here’s a quick look at the most significant economic indicators of the day and what they tell us.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary 

  • Despite the number of job openings taking a slight dip in April, job seekers still have the upper hand. The number of open jobs decreased to 11.4 million last month, down from March’s adjusted 11.9 million, a record high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Health care, retail, and hospitality jobs all lost ground, while logistics and manufacturing continued to add positions.
  • This downturn could be a sign that the labor landscape is starting to tilt back toward a balance between those hiring and those looking for jobs, economists said. Job seekers have had the advantage, with about two job openings per unemployed person since November 2021.
  • Americans have been feeling a little more pessimistic about the future of their jobs lately, but layoffs remain low. In fact, they slid to their lowest level since the BLS began recording turnover data in 2000, landing at 1.2 million.

Mortgage Applications

  • An index measuring the volume of mortgage and refinance applications in the U.S. fell 2.3% last week, reaching a new low since December 2018, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • Even though MBA’s average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell for the third week in a row, at 5.33%, it’s still about 2 percentage points higher than it was at the start of the year. Higher borrowing costs and home prices continue to deter would-be home buyers, and some economists expect the temporary dip in mortgage rates won’t last. 

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