Job openings dive amid recession fears

New numbers show that interest rate hikes are beginning to cool the labor market. We’ll also look at global recession warnings, Janet Yellen’s recent comments on her future and Elon Musk’s revived Twitter deal.

U.S. job openings dropped sharply in August, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday, falling at the fastest one-month pace since March 2020.

Businesses still hired employees at a steady pace and kept layoffs near historic lows in August, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report. But firms also cut back their postings for open jobs, a possible sign of businesses bracing for an economic slowdown.

  • The number of open jobs listed in the U.S. fell from 11.2 million in July to
    10.1 million in August, a decline of 1.1 million job openings.
  • Job openings are now well below a record of 11.4 million set in December 2021.
  • The number of workers laid off from their jobs in August ticked higher from July, rising to 1.6 million from 1.5 million in the previous month, but remained low overall.

The background: The numbers indicate that rate hikes are beginning to dent the labor market.

  • The steep decline in job openings could sap opportunities for workers — and their leverage to get higher wages — as the Federal Reserve slams the brakes on a historically strong labor market.
  • Fewer open jobs means businesses may have an easier time filling other positions as jobseekers have increasingly limited options. That could allow firms to hire workers at lower wages, which would help reduce inflation.

The Hill has more on this

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