Employment growth is starting to level off, though the labor market remains tight. There were 693,000 manufacturing job openings in March, down from 707,000 in February and the lowest level since April 2021, according to the newest JOLTS survey.
The bigger picture: Over the past 12 months, job openings in the sector have averaged nearly 811,250, but that figure slows to 749,000 when averaging over the past six months.
- However, job openings in the industry are still higher than pre-pandemic levels.
- Manufacturers hired 393,000 workers in March, down from 416,000 in February and the lowest since April 2021. Total separations inched up from 409,000 to 415,000 for the month. That means net hiring (or hiring minus separations) was -22,000 in March, the first time the reading has been negative since April 2021.
The whole economy: Nonfarm business job openings dropped from 9,974,000 in February to 9,590,000 in March.
- However, with 5,839,000 unemployed Americans reported by the survey, there are still only 60.9 unemployed workers for every 100 job openings.