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JOLTS: Confoundingly Stubborn Tightness

January 4, 2023
Bottom Line:  The Job Openings Layoffs and Turnover Survey showed sharply higher job openings than expected in November. November's reading only showed a decline because of sharp upward revisions to October's tally. While lagged (November data reported with December's national payroll data due Friday), this report will confound some Fed officials, including the Chair, who was been heavily focused on openings as an indicator of labor market tightness. Moreover, the quit rate, often cited by the Fed Chair, edged higher. And while still trending lower, the quit rate remained historically high. Overall, the labor market remained very tight going into the final month of 2022. While there were signs of slackening, including slightly higher jobless claims and slightly slower payroll growth, most indicators suggest the cooling of the labor market will still be very slow in early 2023. That said, if growth fails to improve, labor markets could slow sharply by the 2nd Quarter. 
Article by Contingent Macro