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JOLTS of Bad News on Jobs: Openings Fall Sharply

Big drop in available jobs
JOLTS of Bad News on Jobs: Openings Fall Sharply
Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If the rate-setters of the Federal Reserve who are meeting today and Wednesday in Washington had any doubt that the U.S. economy is cooling, those doubts should have been removed by today’s bad news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of job openings fell in April by the most in almost four years.

The numbers come from the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS for short (PDF). And jolting it was: The number of job openings fell by 325,000 from the end of March, to 3.4 million at the end of April. That means companies are cutting back on the number of positions they want to fill.