The number of jobs available in the US fell in October

By | November 30, 2022

CNN Business

The number of job openings in the United States has dropped in October, but the job market still remains historically tight despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool demand and reduce inflation.

There were 10.3 million jobs available last month, down from nearly 10.7 million in September, according to the latest monthly Job Vacancies and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), released on Wednesday by the Bureau. of Labor Statistics.

Economists had expected 10.3 million openings in October, according to consensus estimates from Refinitiv.

“The increase in job openings during a period of economic slowdown indicates that the job market may remain tight for some time,” Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial, said in a statement. “Companies can accumulate workers even if the economy goes through a period of recession.”

In October, the number of job openings fell in state and local governments, nondurable goods manufacturing and the federal government, according to the report.

There were about 1.7 openings for each candidate in October, up from 1.9 in September, according to BLS data. Fed officials have been watching this ratio closely, as the tightening job market means employees have greater leverage to seek higher wages, which in turn increases inflation.

“The mismatch between supply and demand for labor has angered the Federal Reserve, which has been struggling to beat historically high inflation while also hoping to regain lost credibility,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, said in a statement. .

As vacancies declined, other workforce turnover metrics showed some signs that the hot job market is cooling off: layoffs fell from 4.06 million to 4.03 million, the number of hires dropped by around 84,000 to just over 6 million and layoffs increased to nearly 1.38 million from 1.33 million the previous month.

Seasonal hires typically increase job openings in October by about 7%, said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

This year, however, that hiring was practically stable.

There appears to be a slowdown in technology and some interest rate sensitive industries such as housing, but the effects are largely contained in those industries, she said.

“You’re seeing weakness in Silicon Valley and Wall Street, but that’s still largely offset by strength and resilience on Main Street, where job growth is still being supported by the recovery from the pandemic,” Pollak told CNN Business.

The JOLTS report comes during a week packed with economic data – including the November jobs report on Friday – and a closely watched speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday. ahead of the central bank’s next policy meeting, where he and other Fed officials are likely to approve an interest rate hike of half a percentage point.

Earlier Wednesday, the latest monthly ADP Private Payrolls report showed that the US private sector created just 127,000 jobs in November, down considerably from the 239,000 created in October and the 200,000 economists were expecting for November.

That hiring activity likely represents filling new jobs versus replacing workers who have left for another job, said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, on Wednesday.

The layoff rate, which hit a record 3% at the end of last year, fell to 2.6% in October after holding steady at 2.7% for the previous three months, according to JOLTS data.

“This suggests that the ‘Big Layoff’ has peaked and the level of replacement hiring and employee turnover is starting to decline,” said Richardson.

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