Breaking: US JOLTS Job openings rise to 9.02 million in December vs. 8.75 million forecast

The number of job openings on the last business day of December stood at 9.02 million, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) on Tuesday. This reading followed 8.92 million (revised from 8.79 million) openings in November and came in above the market expectation of 8.75 million.

"Over the month, the number of hires and total separations were little changed at 5.6 million and 5.4 million, respectively, the BLS noted in its press release and added:

"Within separations, quits (3.4 million) and layoffs and discharges (1.6 million) changed little."

Market reaction to JOLTS Job Openings report

The US Dollar (USD) Index edged slightly higher with the immediate reaction but struggled to gather bullish momentum. At the time of press, the index was virtually unchanged on the day at 103.45.

US Dollar price today

The table below shows the percentage change of US Dollar (USD) against listed major currencies today. US Dollar was the strongest against the Pound Sterling.

USD   -0.06% 0.41% 0.09% 0.39% 0.03% 0.22% 0.10%
EUR 0.06%   0.46% 0.15% 0.45% 0.09% 0.28% 0.15%
GBP -0.38% -0.44%   -0.34% 0.01% -0.35% -0.16% -0.32%
CAD -0.05% -0.09% 0.36%   0.34% -0.06% 0.17% 0.05%
AUD -0.34% -0.39% 0.07% -0.25%   -0.31% -0.11% -0.24%
JPY 0.02% -0.02% 0.41% 0.11% 0.39%   0.24% 0.12%
NZD -0.23% -0.23% 0.19% -0.13% 0.16% -0.19%   -0.12%
CHF -0.11% -0.16% 0.32% -0.01% 0.28% -0.07% 0.11%  

The heat map shows percentage changes of major currencies against each other. The base currency is picked from the left column, while the quote currency is picked from the top row. For example, if you pick the Euro from the left column and move along the horizontal line to the Japanese Yen, the percentage change displayed in the box will represent EUR (base)/JPY (quote).


This section below was published as a preview of the US JOLTS Job Openings data at 08:00 GMT.

  • The US JOLTS data will be watched closely by investors ahead of the Fed policy announcements.
  • Job openings are forecast to edge lower to 8.75 million on the last business day of December.
  • Further loosening in labor market conditions might not be enough to convince markets of a Fed rate cut in March.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) will be released on Tuesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The publication will provide data about the change in the number of job openings in December, alongside the number of layoffs and quits.

JOLTS data will be scrutinized by market participants and Federal Reserve (Fed) policymakers because it could provide valuable insights regarding the supply-demand dynamics in the labor market, a key factor impacting salaries and inflation. While job openings have been trending down during 2023 – a sign of cooling demand for labor – they remain above pre-pandemic levels.

What to expect in the next JOLTS report?

"Over the month, the number of hires and total separations decreased to 5.5 million and 5.3 million, respectively," the BLS noted in its November JOLTS report and added: "Within separations, quits (3.5 million) edged down and layoffs and discharges (1.5 million) changed little."

After declining steadily from 10.5 million to 8.85 million in the January-October period, job openings edged lower to 8.79 million in November. For the upcoming December data, markets expect another slight down tick to 8.75 million.  Meanwhile, Nonfarm Payrolls rose by 216,000 in December following November’s 170,000 increase.

The US Dollar (USD) started the new year on a bullish note. In January, the USD Index is up more than 2%, boosted by diminishing expectations for a Federal Reserve (Fed) rate reduction in March. According to the CME FedWatch Tool, the probability of a 25 basis points rate cut dropped from nearly 80% to 50%. 

FXStreet Analyst Eren Sengezer shares his view on the JOLTS Job Openings data and the potential market reaction:

“JOLTS Job Openings data for December could reaffirm loosening conditions in labor market, unless it unexpectedly rises toward 9.5-10 million range. Investors, however, could refrain from taking a large position based on this data, especially hours before the Fed’s monetary policy announcements. Nevertheless, the immediate reaction to a significant surprise in either direction could be straightforward and remain short-lived. A decline below 8 million in job openings could hurt the USD, while a big increase could provide a boost to the currency”

When will the JOLTS report be released and how could it affect EUR/USD?

Job openings numbers will be published at 15:00 GMT. Eren points out key technical levels to watch for EUR/USD ahead of JOLTS data:

“The 200-day Simple Moving Average and the Fibonacci 38.2% retracement of the October-December uptrend form a pivot level at 1.0850 for EUR/USD. In case this level remains intact as resistance, the pair could test 1.0780 (100-day SMA) and 1.0700 (Fibonacci 61.8% retracement) next. On the upside, 1.0950 (Fibonacci 23.6% retracement) and 1.1000 (psychological level, static level) could be set as bullish targets in case the pair stabilizes above 1.0850.”

Share: Feed news

Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FXStreet nor its advertisers. The author will not be held responsible for information that is found at the end of links posted on this page.

If not otherwise explicitly mentioned in the body of the article, at the time of writing, the author has no position in any stock mentioned in this article and no business relationship with any company mentioned. The author has not received compensation for writing this article, other than from FXStreet.

FXStreet and the author do not provide personalized recommendations. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of this information. FXStreet and the author will not be liable for any errors, omissions or any losses, injuries or damages arising from this information and its display or use. Errors and omissions excepted.

The author and FXStreet are not registered investment advisors and nothing in this article is intended to be investment advice.

Recommended content

Recommended content

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD clings to daily gains above 1.0650

EUR/USD clings to daily gains above 1.0650

EUR/USD gained traction and turned positive on the day above 1.0650. The improvement seen in risk mood following the earlier flight to safety weighs on the US Dollar ahead of the weekend and helps the pair push higher.


GBP/USD recovers toward 1.2450 after UK Retail Sales data

GBP/USD recovers toward 1.2450 after UK Retail Sales data

GBP/USD reversed its direction and advanced to the 1.2450 area after touching a fresh multi-month low below 1.2400 in the Asian session. The positive shift seen in risk mood on easing fears over a deepening Iran-Israel conflict supports the pair.


Gold holds steady at around $2,380 following earlier spike

Gold holds steady at around $2,380 following earlier spike

Gold stabilized near $2,380 after spiking above $2,400 with the immediate reaction to reports of Israel striking Iran. Meanwhile, the pullback seen in the US Treasury bond yields helps XAU/USD hold its ground.

Gold News

Bitcoin Weekly Forecast: BTC post-halving rally could be partially priced in Premium

Bitcoin Weekly Forecast: BTC post-halving rally could be partially priced in

Bitcoin price shows no signs of directional bias while it holds above  $60,000. The fourth BTC halving is partially priced in, according to Deutsche Bank’s research. 

Read more

Week ahead – US GDP and BoJ decision on top of next week’s agenda

Week ahead – US GDP and BoJ decision on top of next week’s agenda

US GDP, core PCE and PMIs the next tests for the Dollar. Investors await BoJ for guidance about next rate hike. EU and UK PMIs, as well as Australian CPIs also on tap.

Read more