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Job Openings Hit Lowest Level Since April 2021

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Job openings hit their lowest level since April 2021, a sign that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the job market through interest rate hikes are paying off.

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTs report, released Tuesday revealed 9.6 million job openings at the end of March, down from 9.9 million in February. In April 2021, they stood at 9.3 million.

The decline in job openings moves closer to the “better balance” in labor markets that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and other Fed officials have referenced.

“The decline in job openings since the start of the year indicates the cumulative impact of the Fed’s aggressive rate hike campaign is starting to bite,” economists at Oxford Economics wrote. “However, the level of openings is still elevated, and we expect the Fed to opt for another 25bps increase this week, as it looks to ensure that the rebalancing of supply and demand in the labor market continues.”

The Fed’s latest meeting started Tuesday, with Fed officials expected set to deliberate on what’s next in the fastest interest rate hike cycle in four decades. Fed officials consider reports like JOLTS and other economic data as signs of whether its aggressive rate hike path is cooling inflation. Part of what has driven prices higher is wage growth resulting from a hot job market.

The Fed will announce its latest policy decision Wednesday.

Click here to read more from Josh Schafer at Yahoo Finance.

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