This week: Job openings, services sector, employment update

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week.

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On Tuesday, the government reports the number of job openings in February.

Analysts predict that job openings slipped from January, when America’s employers posted just under 8.9 million job openings. Job openings have gradually declined since peaking at a record 12 million in March 2022, but they remain high by historical standards. Before 2021, monthly openings had never topped 8 million.

Job openings, in millions, by month

Sept.: 9.4

Oct.: 8.7

Nov.: 8.9

Dec.: 8.9

Jan.: 8.9

Feb. (est.): 8.7

Source: FactSet

Services status

The Institute for Supply Management issues its latest report on the U.S. service sector on Wednesday.

Economists expect its monthly index eased slightly to 52.5 in March. The service sector employs most Americans and has remained resilient despite pressure from inflation. The sector is being watched closely amid concerns about consumer spending in 2024.

ISM Services PMI (seasonally adjusted):

Sept. 53.4

Oct. 51.9

Nov. 52.5

Dec. 50.5

Jan. 53.4

Feb. 52.6

March (est.) 52.5

Source: FactSet

Jobs update

The Labor Department today issues its March jobs report on Friday.

U.S. employers are expected to have added a modest 180,000 jobs in March following February’s addition of 275,000 jobs. Unemployment slipped to 3.8% in February, near a half-century low. The employment market has remained a strong point the economy, bolstering consumer spending and broader growth.

Nonfarm payrolls, monthly change, seasonally adjusted:

Oct.: 165,000

Nov.: 182,000

Dec.: 290,000

Jan.: 229,000

Feb.: 275,000

March (est.): 180,000

Source: FactSet

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