Analysts at Nomura suggest that given the recent tightness in the US labor market, another increase in JOLTS vacancy postings would not be unexpected.
“Job openings in April increased to their highest reading on record, jumping by 259k to 6044k. Much of the increase was driven by a sharp 118k increase in accommodation and food services, prompting some speculation about whether decreases in immigration have contributed to the uptick in vacancies in an industry that relies more than others on immigrant labor. At 847k, vacancies in the accommodation and food services industry now sit well above their 12-month average of 752k. Regarding other industries, information and financial activities both posted modest increases in job openings while manufacturing and retail trade saw declines.”
“Retail vacancies may deserve some additional attention in coming months given recent turmoil in brick and mortar retail stores. The job openings rate, at 3.97%, now sits just below the historical peak of 3.98% from July 2015. Elsewhere in the report, the quits rate ticked down slightly by 0.1pp to 2.1% but remains within the 2.1-2.2% range seen since May of last year. The hires rate ticked down to 3.5% from 3.6% which was relatively broad-based across industries. Given the recent tightness in the labor market, another increase in vacancy postings would not be unexpected.”