US Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for US Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized! 

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

1st May 2024

Job Openings and Labour Turnover (JOLTS)

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of March was a fair bit lower at 8.5mn compared to 8.8mn in February. The print was also a bit lower than consensus expectations. The Fed looks at the JOLTS data very closely and takes significant comfort from the downward trend in job openings as an indication of cooling labour demand. However, we should also not lose sight of the fact that even though job opening have come down substantially in the past 18-24 months, they still remain higher compared to pre-pandemic levels. The total number of hires declined from 5.8mn to 5.5mn. Separations also fell from 5.4mn to 5.2mn. Similarly, within separations, the widely tracked Quits rate also fell from 3.5mn to 3.3mn  (from 2.2% to 2.1%). This trend remains downward and the Quits rate which stood at an elevated 3.0% in early 2022 is now back down to 2.1% and quite in line with pre-pandemic levels.   

  • Job Openings as of the last day of Mar 2024 declined to 8.5mn (expectations 8.7mn)

2nd Apr 2024

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of February were little changed at 8.8mn. Last month’s figure was revised down marginally. The print was also mostly in line with consensus expectations. Similar to the headline, there wasn’t much change in the underlying detail in the report either. The total number of hires were little changed at 5.8 mn. Separations fell a bit more on a m-o-m basis from 5.4mn to 5.6mn. Similarly, within separations, the widely tracked Quits rate was also steady at 3.48 mn or 2.2%. The trend remains downward and the Quits rate which stood at an elevated 3.0% in early 2022 is now back down to 2.2% and quite in line with pre-pandemic levels. The Quits rate has remained at 2.2% for 4 months in a row. 10 and 30 year yields have been spiking up in the last few days in response to overall strong economic data and stubbornly high inflation. Finally, it is key to once again emphasize that the level of job openings is significantly lower than the late 2021 highs and even with a no-change data point, the Fed would take comfort from the release. However a continuing tight labour market remains concerning from an inflation standpoint.  

6th Mar 2024

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of January were little changed at 8.9mn. The print was also mostly in line with consensus expectations. Similar to the headline, there wasn’t much change in the underlying detail in the report either. The total number of hires and separations were little changed at 5.7 mn and 5.3 mn. Similarly, within separations, the widely tracked Quits rate was also steady at 3.4 mn. However, the trend remains downward and the Quits rate which stood at an elevated 3.0% in early 2022 is now back down to 2.1% and quite in line with pre-pandemic levels. 10 and 30 year yields were broadly down and continuing the trend seen in recent weeks. Finally, it is key to once again emphasize that the level of job openings is significantly lower than the late 2021 highs and even with a no-change data point, the Fed would take comfort from the release. However a continuing tight labour market remains concerning from an inflation standpoint.  

30th Jan 2024

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of December were little changed at 9.0mn. However, more importantly, the print was higher than consensus expectations of 8.75mn. Yields mostly spiked in immediate response with the 10 year moving 4 basis points from 4.04% to 4.08%. Also, it is key to once again emphasize that the level of job openings is significantly lower than the late 2021 highs and even with a no-change data point, the Fed would take comfort from the release. However a continuing tight labour market remains concerning from an inflation standpoint. The number of hires was unchanged at 5.6mn. Similarly total quits was also unchanged at 3.4mn. This level of quits at around 3.4 mn is mostly in line with the level right before the pandemic struck in 1Q 2020.  

3rd Jan 2024

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of November were little changed at 8.8mn. The print was also mostly in line with expectations. It is key to once again emphasize though that the level of job openings is significantly lower than the late 2021 highs and even with a no-change data point, the Fed would take comfort from the release. The number of hires decreased to 5.5mn. Similarly total quits edged down to 3.5mn. This level of quits at around 3.5 mn is mostly in line with the level right before the pandemic struck in 1Q 2020.  

5th Dec 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of October were at 8.7mn, down sharply from the previous month. The figure was also much lower than consensus expectations of 9.30mn, After just a couple of months of relatively higher prints, we are back to receding job opening data. Once again this is welcome news for the Fed. Markets immediately responded to the lower than expected print by dragging down the 10 year and the 2 year yield. Markets are now firmly expecting a rate cut by the first half of 2024 and only time will tell if they have it correct this time vis a vis what the Fed has been saying about rate cuts all along. The number of hires was little changed at 5.9mn. Similarly total quits was little changed at 3.6mn. The key point to note though is that the level of quits at 3.6 mn is mostly in line with the level right before the pandemic struck in 1Q 2020.  

1st Nov 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of September was relatively unchanged from the previous month at 9.6mn. However, the figure was higher than consensus expectations of 9.25mn, though not by a very large margin. After a few months of continuous declines in job openings (which was welcome news for the Fed), August had sprung an unexpected surprise on the markets. And in the same vein, the September data still points to elevated job openings. The key message continues to be that the labour market still remain tight and employers are looking for workers. The number of hires was little changed at 5.9mn. Similarly total quits was little changed at 3.7mn.  

  • Job Openings as of the last day of Sep 2023 was relatively unchanged at 9.6mn (expectations 9.25mn)
  • FRED Jolts

3rd Oct 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of August increased sharply to 9.6mn from a upwardly revised 8.92mn in July. The figure was also significantly higher than consensus expectations of 8.8mn. After a few months of continuous declines in job openings (which was welcome news for the Fed), August sprung an unexpected surprise on the markets. The number screams out the message that the labour market still remain tight and employers are looking for workers. As soon as the report hit the wires, bond yields were sharply up. The number of hires was little changed at 5.9mn. Similarly total quits was little changed at 3.6mn.  

  • Job Openings as of the last day of August 2023 increased substantially to 9.6mn (expectations 8.8mn)
  • FRED Jolts

29th Aug 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of July decreased sharply to 8.8mn from a downwardly revised 9.165mn in June. The figure was also significantly lower than consensus expectations. This was very welcome news from the Fed’s perspective and the market cheered it immediately. Equity markets were sharply up in immediate reaction and the 2 year bond yield fell a whopping 13 basis points in immediate reaction. The ratio of job openings to number of unemployed has come down from its 2022 highs of around 2.0x to approximately 1.45x now. However, even with the latest positive data, it is still indicative of a tight labour market. The other noteworthy point in this data report was the sharp drop in Quits from 3.8mn in June to 3.5mn in July. This is perceived to indicate that people might be less likely to quit in anticipation of a new job with a higher pay.  

  • Job Openings as of the last day of July 2023 decreased substantially to 8.827mn (expectations 9.4650mn)
  • FRED Jolts

1st Aug 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of Jun marginally decreased to 9.582mn from 9.616mn in May. The figure was also mostly in line with expectations. Even though marginally lower, the number is high enough to still worry the Fed. The ratio of job openings to number of unemployed has come down from its 2022 highs of around 2.0x to approximately 1.6x now. But it is still indicative of a tight labour market. The other noteworthy point in this data report was the sharp drop in Quits from 4.1mn in May to 3.8mn in June. This is perceived to indicate that people might be less likely to quit in anticipation of a new job with a higher pay.  

  • Job Openings as of the last day of June 2023 decreased marginally to 9.582mn (expectations 9.610mn)
  • FRED Jolts

6th Jul 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of May decreased to 9.8mn from 10.3mn in Apr. Also notably, the figure was lower than consensus expectations of 9.94mn. Other data on the number of hires, separations and layoffs were little changed from April. In summary, while the JOLTS headline number might have moved down a bit, it remains high by historical standards and continues to indicate a tight labor market.  

 

31st May 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of April increased to 10.1mn from 9.7mn in Mar. This is a fairly important development. The Fed has pinned all its hopes of quelling inflation on weakening the labour market tightness without creating a significant recession. Job Openings in the US had fallen now for 3 months in a row from Jan through Mar. Which had given the Fed significant comfort. However, job openings increased back again in April. The latest number was also higher than the consensus forecast of ~9.8mn. The higher Jolts print now brings attention even more firmly on the May NFP data to be released today. If NFP prints higher than consensus, there will be a good case for another 25 basis points hike at the June Fed meeting. 

2nd May 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of Mar decreased to 9.6mn from 9.9mn in Feb. Job Openings in the US have fallen now for 3 months in a row – which the Fed will be quite pleased about. The latest number was also lower than the consensus forecast of ~9.8mn. The Quits rate – which provides an indication of the willingness and ability of workers to leave jobs –  remained fairly unchanged at around 3.9mn. The JOLTS data is being closely monitored by market participants as another indicator (apart from the NFP payroll data) of labour market tightness. The Fed also keeps a close eye on this data point. Job openings have come off significantly from the late 2021 / early 2022 highs of close to 12mn. Yet, even at 9.6mn, job openings are significantly above pre-pandemic levels.   

7th Apr 2023

Key takeaway: The number of Job Openings on the last business day of Feb decreased to 9.9mn from 10.5mn in Jan. The number was substantially below the consensus forecast of ~10.4mn. The JOLTS data is being closely monitored by market participants as another indicator (apart from the NFP payroll data) of labour market tightness. The Fed also keeps a close eye on this data point. Job openings have come off significantly from the late 2021 / early 2022 highs of close to 12mn. Yet, even at 9.9mn, job openings are significantly above pre-pandemic levels.   

The Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (“JOLTS”) is a monthly survey conducted by the Bureau of Labour Statistics that provides data on job openings, hires and separations. The data primarily serves as a demand side indicator of labour shortage in the economy. The availability of unfilled jobs is an important measure of tightness of job markets and supplements the information received through the BLS Non-Farm Payroll data. Data for this survey of approximately 21,000 business establishments is collected through the Atlanta JOLTS Data Collection Center. The survey covers all non-agricultural industries in the public and private sectors in the US.

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