The jobs report nobody talks about tells us 2 critical things about the economy




 


Friday hit us with a weak-looking jobs report that treated lucky homebuyers to super-low interest rates. Yesterday followed up with the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary for April, aka JOLTS, another key indicator of economic health.

JOLTS is a government estimation of how many jobs the economy is trying to fill. Here's a quick recap of the April data:

-7.4 million job openings

-Remember we have 5.9 million unemployed people seeking work from Friday's jobs report

-5.9 million people were hired, 240k more than in March

-5.6 million people lost jobs via quitting or layoffs

-Job openings down in professional services-172k fewer openings

-Over the 12 months ending in April, 69.6 million people were hired and 66.8 million people quit or were laid off for a net employment gain of 2.8 million

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The 2 key takeaways:

-There are way more job openings than people looking for jobs. Since the unemployment rate hasn't meaningfully changed in the past few months, it seems like workers are switching around to get better jobs, but employers aren't hiring unemployed job seekers as much.

-That means that employers are looking for skills that unemployed folks don't have. This is called the "skill shortage theory."

Here's a gov't visualization of hiring and job separations over time-look at the bottom to see how many people tell their boss "f*** it" and quit:


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Our friend Tendayi Kapfize, chief economist of LendingTree, said this JOLTS report shows us the economy is still healthy:

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