Open Positions Continue to Exceed Pre-Pandemic Numbers

In February, factory orders rose by 1.4%, reversing a 4% decline in January and beating economists’ expectations of 1% growth. The increase was primarily driven by an uptick in durable goods orders and transportation equipment orders, which had not increased in two months. This led to new orders for manufactured goods reaching $576.8 billion. Additionally, total shipments grew by 1.4% in the quarter, ending a two-month losing streak. These positive indicators suggest that U.S. manufacturing could be on the upswing, following an expansion in the sector as shown by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index reading.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of job openings in February increased to 8.8 million, up from a revised 8.7 million in January. This growth was in line with forecasters’ expectations and 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 while layoffs also rose to 1

By Riley Johnson

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