There was a total shocker in today’s JOLTs report.
While consensus was looking for the BLS to announce 10MM in job openings for July, nobody – not even the top optimist – was prepared for the stunning 10.934 million openings that was announced at 10am.
This unprecedented amount of job openings was recorded even as over 4.2 million openings were also added during the last 7 months, with every month of this year seeing a boost in job openings, the longest stretch ever.
Looking at these details, the boost in job openings was pushed by a number of sectors, with the biggest upticks being in health care and social help (+294,000); insurance and food (+116,000); and food services (+115,000).
The record amount of job openings is in stark contrast against the endless Americans who are still getting certain pandemic unemployment payments, which in the past week was right over 12 million.
But the biggest shock was that while we were anticipating the BLS to show around 1.7MM more job openings than unemployed people, in a testament to this broken system that is supply constrained or maybe an overheating job market, the real number was a record 2.232 million more openings compared to the overall number of unemployed Americans which as of Aug. was 8.384 million.
Obviously, with much more job openings than unemployed people, this meant that the month of June there were under 1 unemployed workers for every opening in the nation, which is down from June, and from the record 4.6 at the top of the pandemic last April.
Unlike last month when companies hiring reached a record 6.8 million, in Aug. some of these openings led to a slowdown in hiring: in Aug. the BLS announced that hiring lowered by a modest 160K to 6.667 million, as new hires went down in retail trade (-277,000), and goods manufacturing went down (-41,000), along with educational services (-23,000) while the amount of hires went up in local and state local education (+33,000) and in the federal government (+21,000).
This data validates the skepticism about “transitory” inflation, as the lacking pool of labor is inflationary and could lead to more wage hikes.
Author: Steven Sinclaire