- by New Deal democrat
All of the major metrics in last month’s JOLTS report for August improved, most slightly, but the decelerating trend continued. In this morning’s report for September, that trend continued, as most of the metrics improved or declined very slightly, but the trends remained intact.
The one exception this month was a sharp downturn in layoffs and discharges by -165,000 to 1.517 million, the lowest level since last December. This is in accord with the big September decline in initial jobless claims. As with the above graph, this one is also normed to its average right before the pandemic, showing that layoffs remain well below that level (further evidence of labor market tightness):
Finally, two months ago I premiered a comparison of the quits rate and average hourly earnings. This is because the former has a 20+ year history of leading the latter, which I have in the past described as a “long lagging” indicator that turns well after the turns in most other metrics. Here’s the update of that comparison: