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Employers posted 11.5 million job openings in March, while 4.5 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs, according to government data released yesterday. Both figures are the highest on record and reflect a tight labor market that has encouraged workers to seek better opportunities and higher pay.
The total number of separations—including quits, layoffs, and discharges—was at 6.3 million, up from 6.1 million in February. Altogether, the data show there are two job openings for every unemployed person. Analysts say employers could continue to raise wages to draw in workers, fueling rising inflation. Wages and salaries have increased 4.7% in the 12-month period ending in March, while inflation hit 8.5% for the same period.
The data on the labor market help the Federal Reserve determine interest-rate policy as a way to curb inflation. The Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates today for the second time this year since 2018.