According to the new Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, US employers had 4.834 million job openings in October.
This was up from 4.685 million in September, and it was higher than the 4.795 million expected by economists.
"[N]ot counting the August 2014 high were last this big in January 2001, two months before that recession began," Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi's Chris Rupkey noted. "Job openings now are larger than any month during the housing bubble economy years 2004 to 2007. The Fed better re-check their calculations for slack in the economy. This is not a weak labor market."
"The rate of quits, indicative of those who are confident enough in the labor market to leave their current jobs, decreased 0.1pp to 1.9%, but remains at the second highest level since June 2008," BNP Paribas' Derek Lindsay noted.
Overall, the US labor market continues to show strength.
"One measure we use to quantify the amount of slack in labor markets is the ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings," Barclays Jesse Hurwitz noted. "This measure fell to 1.86 in October (previous: 1.98), the lowest level since February 2008... Taken together, the October JOLTS data reflect continued progress in labor markets, which we expect will drive the unemployment rate down by 0.6pp over the next year."
On Friday we learned US companies added 321,000 nonfarm payrolls in November, crushing expectations for a gain of just 230,000. This is the biggest single-month gain in payrolls since January 2012.
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