ABC15 – DATA: Job openings fall for four consecutive months
The hiring signs are starting to disappear from storefront windows.
Labor Department data shows another decline in job openings for the month of March.
In March, there were 9.5 million job openings. This was down 384,000 from February and the lowest number since April of 2021.
Hirings remained steady at 6.15 million, a drop of only a thousand.
In the report, there were 250,000 more discharges and layoffs and 130,000 fewer people voluntarily quit their job.
In the past few years, job openings have far exceeded hirings. The gap between openings and hirings began growing in 2016 but the government response to the pandemic supercharged openings.
A year ago this month, there were 5.4 million more openings than hires, the widest gap ever in the data. Openings have fallen since then and the gap is now 3.4 million.
The gap is historic. The data goes back 23 years and for most of that time, hirings outpaced openings.
The switch occurred in early 2015 and except for the early pandemic lockdown months, hirings have never outpaced job openings.
Valley economist Jim Rounds told ABC15 the nation’s money supply is a big factor in the growth of job openings. COVID-19 responses caused interest rates to plummet near zero and over $3 trillion was injected into the nation’s economy in one year alone, more than six trillion altogether.
Rounds said to correct the imbalance of openings and hires the Fed must start acting like a family and tighten its belt.
“If you end up spending more than you’re making. If you do it for a little while,” said Rounds. “While you can kind of get by and you can, you know, keep from bankruptcy by shifting money around borrowing from relatives, things like that federal government has already borrowed from all of its relatives, it’s already done every gimmick that it can, now it has to hit that reset button, and it’s going to have to pull all this extra money in.”