WASHINGTON (6/12/13)--The number of U.S. job openings dipped to 3.76 million in April from 3.88 million in March, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Although hiring picked up in April, the dip in job openings indicates a likely weaker near-term outlook for jobs, JOLTS said (Moody's Economy.com June 1).
Also the job-openings rate decreased to 2.7% from 2.8%.
Meanwhile, hiring rose to 4.43 million from 4.22 million, while separations increased to 4.28 million from 4.12 million. That resulted in the economy still garnering a net jobs gain, JOLTS said.
More workers are quitting their jobs (separations), apparently because better positions are available, and layoffs are steadily falling, said Moody's in its analysis of JOLTS. Workers have more confidence to leave unsatisfying jobs, and they likely are earning more in new positions. As increasing number of workers leave their jobs voluntarily, new workers are filling the openings, Moody's explained.
However, the labor market still is relatively soft, and job creation remains too low to employ an adequate number of job seekers, Moody's said.
The near-term outlook suggests weak job gains through the end of 2013 because federal cutbacks will dampen the labor market through job cuts and through lower spending by furloughed workers. Also, weak worldwide demand will keep expansions in internationally connected industries in check. Hiring will improve by mid-2014, when net monthly job gains will begin to surpass 200,000, Moody's forecasts.