Last week the economy saw a stunning reverse, with the report that private employers added just 126,000 jobs to payrolls in March, the worst monthly gain since December 2013 and a bog miss from analyst expectations.
Worsening matters, February’s print of 239,000 was revised down to 201,000.
And even worse than that, an analysis in the Wall Street Journal showed that there are today around 750,000 fewer full-time jobs than existed in December 2007, when the recession began.
With February’s revision, the combined January and February totals are down 69,000 from the initial reports.
This puts job creation for the first quarter at an average and weak 197,000 per month, raising questions about the Federal Reserve’s commitment to raising interest rates by mid-2015 or by the end of the third quarter.
An analysis from the Mortgage Bankers Association of BLS data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for February shines some light on labor market dynamics in play.
They find that over the last year both job openings and the rate at which individuals voluntarily quit their job have been increasing at a faster rate than firms can hire.
Quits are viewed as a favorable indicator of job market prospects and are positively correlated with consumer sentiment.
The bottom line from MBA is that with job openings still on the rise but actual hiring slowing, it is possible that employers are having difficulties filling open positions with workers who have the desired skill set.