Job openings increase to 10.1 million in April - Labor Department

Investing.com -- Job openings in the U.S. rose in April, breaking three straight months of declines, in a potential sign of lingering labor market tightness that could impact the Federal Reserve's ongoing fight to corral elevated inflation.

The Labor Department's monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, also known as the JOLTS report, showed that job vacancies totaled 10.1 million on the final day of last month. The figure is higher than the upwardly revised mark of 9.75M in March and well above forecasts of 9.78M.

Meanwhile, layoffs and discharges decreased by 264,000 to 1.6M, bringing the rate in relation to the broader workforce down to 1.0% from 1.2% in the prior month.

In a tweet, Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab, said the numbers indicate that "the job market is still healthy."

Although the data runs a month behind the all-important nonfarm payrolls report, Fed officials have been keeping a close eye on it as they attempt to gauge price growth.

The U.S. central bank has targeted a softening in the labor market as a key pillar of its long-running campaign of aggressive interest rate hikes. The Fed funds rate now stands at between 5.00% to 5.25%, up from near-zero in March 2022.

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