U.S. job openings surged to a record high in April and employers appeared to have trouble finding suitable workers, pointing to a tightening labor market that could encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.
The Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, published on Tuesday also suggests that a recent moderation in job growth could be the result of a skills mismatch rather than easing demand for labor.
“These data underscore the difficulty in hiring new workers, which we think is increasingly likely to be a factor restraining payroll growth going forward,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York. “The Fed becomes somewhat uneasy when the labor market becomes too tight and this report supports the Fed’s case to nudge rates higher next week.”
JOLTS is one of the metrics on Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s so-called dashboard of labor