Open Positions Continue to Exceed Pre-Pandemic Numbers

U.S. manufacturing could be on the upswing, as factory orders rose 1.4% in February after a 4% decline in January, which was better than expected by economists. This growth was primarily driven by an increase in durable goods orders and transportation equipment orders, which rose for the first time in two months. As a result, new orders for manufactured goods reached $576.8 billion in February. Additionally, total shipments grew by 1.4% in the quarter, reversing a two-month losing streak. These positive indicators suggest that U.S. manufacturing is expanding and could be on a upward trend following the expansion shown by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index reading.

In a separate report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of job openings increased to 8.8 million in February from a revised 8.7 million in January, which was in line with forecasters’ expectations. This growth meant that for every unemployed worker there were 1.4 job openings, showing a healthy labor market.

Furthermore, the number of people quitting their jobs increased slightly to 3.5 million and layoffs also rose to 1.7 million, indicating workers may have gained some bargaining power as higher quitting rates can indicate people leaving for better pay and working conditions.

Despite these changes and recent interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to fight inflation affecting borrowing costs, overall the dynamics in the labor market have remained relatively stable.

In conclusion, while there are some challenges facing U

By Sophia Gonzalez

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