Bitcoin, Ether Rise Sharply Immediately Following JOLTS Jobs Data

The two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization reacted positively to a reduction in job openings

AccessTimeIconMay 2, 2023 at 9:00 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) responded positively following Tuesday’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data, each increasing close to 2% during the hour of release.

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Bitcoin Hourly Chart 05/02/23 (TradingView)

The report showed that job openings in the United States declined to 9.6 million in March, below expectations of 9.775 million, and their lowest level since April 2021.

Crypto market observers have recently considered weakening jobs data as positive for asset prices because:

  1. The Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates until it feels comfortable inflation has calmed.
  2. Interest rate increases are a negative for asset prices (crypto included).
  3. Labor markets must cool for inflation to decline.

In short, “bad” employment data is “good” for markets, at least in the current environment.

In general, pinning price increases and decreases to macroeconomic reports with 100% certainty is difficult. But the timing of Tuesday’s spikes in bitcoin’s price and volume suggests strongly that BTC responded to the jobs report. Prices moderated throughout the remainder of the day following the initial move higher.

Crypto markets may also be making an early move ahead of Wednesday’s more highly publicized U.S. central bank interest rate decision, although the expected 25 basis point increase is likely already priced in.

One curious development is that other risk assets, most notably equities, did not react similarly to the jobs data. The S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite, and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), each declined following the data release.

Correlations between crypto and equities have weakened this year, with a once-strong correlation of 0.80 between BTC and the S&P 500 declining to a relatively benign current correlation of 0.27.

On-chain metrics indicate that markets may be quiet over the next couple of days, as the Federal Reserve mulls its rate decision. Exchange balances for both BTC and ETH remain close to where they stood at the beginning of 2023.

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Ethereum Balance on Exchanges (TradingView)

BTC and ETH balances on crypto exchanges often increase when investors are preparing to reduce their positions in the asset. The relative lack of movement following respective 73% and 56% year-to-date increases implies that investors are continuing to hold, even in the face of higher prices.

While not to be confused as a surefire catalyst for still higher prices, the stagnancy does reflect resiliency in crypto markets and a generalized support at current levels.

Edited by James Rubin.


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Glenn C Williams Jr, CMT is a Crypto Markets Analyst with an initial background in traditional finance. His experience includes research and analysis of individual cryptocurrencies, defi protocols, and crypto-based funds. He owns BTC, ETH, UNI, DOT, MATIC, and AVAX

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