US Job Openings (JOLTS)Hit Record High, Qualified Workers Scarce
$DIA, $SPY, $QQQ, $VXX
US job openings aka JOLTS, rose to a record high in July, suggesting a slowdown in job growth in August was an aberration and that the labor market was strong before the recent disruptive Hurricanes.
The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey released by the US Labor Department Tuesday showed the labor market continued to tighten due to a scarcity of workers.
The strong labor market fundamentals could/might/might not encourage the Fed to continue tightening monetary policy, but inflation is still running below the central bank’s 2% target.
Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased by 54,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.2-M. That was the highest mark since the data series started in December 2000.
Job openings have now been above 6 million for 2 months running, as skilled workers are in short supply aka scarce.
Labor market tightness was also underscored by another report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
The NFIB survey showed a record share of small businesses in August ranked difficulties finding qualified workers as “their Top business problem.” The rise in job vacancies in July bolsters views that August’ s moderation in job gains was largely because of a seasonal quirk.
“The JOLTS data signal that the labor market was in solid shape in July and support our view that we should not be very concerned about the modest disappointment in the August payroll report,” said an economist at JPMorgan.
JOLTS is one of the job market metrics in Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s focus.
Economists expect the Fed central will announce a plan to start reducing its $4.2-T portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities at its 19-20 September FOMC policy meeting.
Benign inflation amid sluggish wage growth suggests the Fed will delay raising interest rates again until December or beyond.
Tuesday, the US major stock market indexes finished at: DJIA +61.49 at 22120.16, NAS Comp +22.02 at 6454.25, S&P 500 +8.37 at 2497.93
Volume: Trade on the NYSE came in at: 767-M/shares exchanged.
- NAS Comp +19.9% YTD
- DJIA +11.9% YTD
- S&P 500 +11.5% YTD
- Russell 2000 +4.9% YTD
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