The workday is in focus as markets fall from record highs

7:06 am ET, March 8, 2024

Fewer Americans are abandoning or jumping ship

Jobs data released earlier this week seem to suggest that the carefree job-hopping days are over.

In January, the exit rate was 2.1%, the lowest since August 2020, according to the latest Job Opportunities and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report.

In addition to falling voluntary quits, the report shows that hiring activity and the number of available jobs have continued to ease from record-high levels reached during the pandemic-recovery. Redundancies are also down.

Still, the number of job openings — a closely watched measure of labor demand — is above the pre-pandemic average, highlighting the continued strength of the labor market. In January, there were an estimated 8.86 million job openings, an upward revision from December's 8.89 million.

January's total was in line with economists' expectations. Economists had forecast a decline of 8.85 million jobs, according to consensus estimates at FactSet.

“Jobs are relatively high, not just in this set of data, but a key statistic for the economy,” Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said in a statement.

“The openings point to continued strong hiring, which means higher salaries and better spending,” he said. “At this point, openings seem to support a soft landing in the jobs market, where monthly hiring is in the 100,000 to 200,000 range, a stable zone for a sustained expansion.”

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