201804.13
4
8

There Aren’t Two Labor Markets

Allusions to a labor shortage continue to be ubiquitous. Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal published yet another such story under the headline Iowa’s Employment Problem: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough People. Ostensibly about the experiences of companies trying to hire in the one state, the implication was clear enough. If Iowa, IOWA, has…

201803.20
1
5

Choosing the Right Curves

The background for inflation hysteria was pretty simple. Globally synchronized growth meant acceleration in the US economy which would raise demand for labor. The unemployment rate, faulty as it has been, suggests that any further increase in labor utilization would just have to pressure wages – the competition for workers rises as the marginal supply…

201801.10
3
2

Which One Really Belonged On Yellen’s Dashboard?

The latest JOLTS survey from the BLS suggests nothing much has changed from that particular view of the labor market. The level of estimated Job Openings (JO) while down slightly over the last few months remains exceedingly high. By contrast, the rate of monthly Hires (HI) continues to be subdued, if at the high end…

201712.11
2
2

Severe Jolt In JOLTS

The biggest proponents of the BLS data have been FOMC policymakers. Right from the taper tantrum of 2013, the unemployment rate has given them, and the Economists who depend on their views for crafting their own, an almost definitive set of parameters for interpreting all other economic statistics. Everything is immediately filtered through the lens…

201709.12
2
5

The JOLTS of Drugs

Princeton University economist Alan Krueger recently published and presented his paper for Brookings on the opioid crisis and its genesis. Having been declared a national emergency, there are as many economic as well as health issues related to the tragedy. Economists especially those at the Federal Reserve are keen to see this drug abuse as socio-demographic…

201708.08
2
3

Settling the State of Labor

The JOLTS report for June 2017 showed another surge in Job Openings. Hitting a record high, the BLS estimates there were nearly 6.2 million, up sharply from 5.7 million in May. As many in the media like to point out, Janet Yellen has declared Job Openings a favored economic statistics purportedly as a gauge of…

201707.11
1
3

JOLTS Disharmony Is More Than JOLTS, or Jobs

Last month it was Job Openings that soared to a new record high of more than 6 million (for April 2017), while the pace of hiring slammed lower to just more than 5 million. This month (May 2017), the opposite. Hires surged to nearly 5.5 million, while Job Openings fell sharply (and were revised lower…

201706.06
2
2

Forced Finally To A Binary Labor Interpretation

JOLTS figures for the month of April 2017, released today, highlight what is in the end likely to be a more positive outcome for them. It has very little to do with the economy itself, as what we are witnessing is the culmination of extreme positions that have been made and estimated going all the…

201705.16
5
2

More Less Than Nothing, Labor Conditions

Despite a lower calculated inflation rate for April 2017, Real Average Weekly Earnings were only just positive for the month year-over-year. As the CPI had moved higher on the base effects of oil prices, real earnings were forced negative in each of the three prior months. The reason is, as always, no acceleration in nominal…

201705.10
Off
1

Getting JOLTS

Consistent with the LMCI, the JOLTS data series suggests very little has changed. There are two crossover points between them, where the level of Hires and the Quits Rate (a calculation derived from the JOLTS estimates) are included as two of the 19 factors in the LMCI. Though the latter was revised somewhat higher over…