How to Trade the US JOLTS Job Openings: A Comprehensive Guide


The US Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) provides valuable insights into job vacancies, hires, and separations in the labor market.

This guide will share the exact strategy that professional traders use to take money from the 95% of losing retail traders.  By following our step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to level the playing field and effectively trade the JOLTS report.

Understanding the US JOLTS JOB Openings

The JOLTS report, released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), details job openings, hiring rates, and employee turnover. 

While it doesn’t provide the immediacy of current events like the monthly jobs report (Non-Farm Payrolls) or inflation data (Consumer Price Index), it offers a comprehensive view of the job market’s past activity.

Why JOLTS matter?

Why JOLTS Often Won’t Move the Market

Trading Strategy for JOLTS Job Openings

Step 1: Analyze Federal Reserve Priorities

The first step is to understand what data points the Federal Reserve is currently focused on. If the Fed is focused on this piece of data then the data point will have a significant amount of volatility because the Fed is in some way basing its interest rate decisions on that data release. 

To quickly determine the Fed’s current focus, you can use our Professional Economic Calendar, which includes a fundamental guide. This resource helps traders stay updated on the data points that matter most to the Fed, providing a strategic advantage.

Step 2: Use High-Low Expectation Forecasts

Professional traders rely on high-low forecasts to gauge market expectations accurately. Here’s a more detailed look at why these forecasts are crucial:

Understanding High-Low Forecasts

Economic forecasts are derived from surveys of credible institutions, each providing their best estimate on upcoming data points. Retail calendars typically present the median of these estimates, which can be misleading. 

The median forecast doesn’t reveal the full range of expectations and, therefore, doesn’t indicate how surprising an actual data release is compared to the extremes of analysts’ projections.

In contrast, professional economic calendars include both high and low estimates. This additional information shows the analysts’ expectations at the extreme ends of their projections.

Great trading opportunities arise when data releases fall outside these high and low estimates, creating market shocks that move prices significantly.

Step 3 - Choosing the most volatile instrument to trade 

Using insights from institutional reports, traders can select the most responsive currency pairs. For example, if USD/JPY is particularly sensitive to economic data as outlined by the City Economic Surprise Index and JOLTS shows a significant deviation, this pair could be an ideal target for trading.

Trade Execution Steps

Confirm Fed Focus

Ensure the Federal Reserve is currently emphasizing employment data. If employment is a primary focus, the JOLTS report will have a higher likelihood of moving the market.

Remember if the Central bank is focused on the data point – it’s because they are using that data point to make a decision on rates. 

This is the reason data points that are focused on cause volatility. In addition, sometimes the central bank is focused on a data point inside a data point. Like the Federal Reserve has often called out average hourly earnings as the key thing they are looking for inside the Non-farm payroll report. 

Check Forecast Ranges

Before the data release, review the high and low forecast expectations for the event.. Plan to trade only if the actual data significantly exceeds the high estimate or falls below the low estimate. This strategy ensures you act on genuinely surprising data and there will most likely be a follow through reaction.

Monitor Revisions

Check for any conflicting revisions in the data, as these can alter the initial market reaction. Make sure the primary release and any revisions align to support your trade.

Enter Trade Promptly

Once you confirm the deviation, act quickly to enter your trade. Enter within the first 30 seconds. Speed is crucial, as market reactions to significant data surprises happen rapidly.

Set Stop and Take Profit

Managing the Trade

After the Initial Run

Look for a shallow pullback around a 23% Fibonacci retracement or near support/resistance levels. This initial pullback can provide an opportunity to enter the trade again after you’ve taken a few points off the table after your first entry.

Break Even

Move your stop-loss to break even as soon as possible to protect your gains – but in general the stronger the release the shallower the pullback. The other reason for moving to BE – is that the market should want to buy off your S&R level and continue to the highs of the one minute candle and break. If that doesn’t happen…something could be off.


If your initial position is stopped out at break even, consider reentering at deeper retracements, such as the 38% or 50% Fibonacci levels. Use nearby support and resistance levels to guide your reentry points.


While the US JOLTS Job Openings report may not always lead to significant market movements, understanding its nuances and using a professional trading strategy can help you capitalize on unexpected deviations.

If you don’t have the tools mentioned above, try out our Professional Economic Calendar Package and use institutional tools to level the playing field. 

By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to trade the JOLTS report effectively, leveraging the same strategies that professional traders use to profit from this economic data release.

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