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August Job Openings

August Jobs

It looks like Job Opening have taken a tumble in August and with stocks being rocky in September there may be more to come.

Now, the bad: The number of job openings as measured by the Labor Department (JOLTS) plunged in August by over 1 million — well more than economists had forecast.

In fact, the drop was the largest since April 2020 (the height of COVID-19 lockdowns, for those with short memories). Yet quits and layoffs were marginally changed, in keeping with the theme that jobs still remain plentiful.

Why it matters: Independent of the monthly payrolls data, JOLTS is one of a handful of reads giving insight into the health of the jobs market.

With about two open jobs for every person seeking one, JOLTS has characterized an impossibly torrid labor market — an element of growth the Fed is looking to tame in the battle against price pressures.

What they’re saying: “All we can say for sure is that this is the first official indicator to point unambiguously, if not necessarily reliably, to a clear slowing in labor demand,” wrote Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

“If it continues over the next few months, and core inflation falls as much as we expect, the Fed will not be hiking by 125 [basis points] by the year end.”

The data is “the first clear sign of weakening labor demand [that] will pressure the Fed to do less, if it persists.”

Axios Macro By Neil Irwin and Courtenay Brown · Oct 04, 2022