Jobs report indicates robust labor market

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) came out today, and when combined with data on the unemployment rate and job growth, it shows that the labor market is doing well. The last reported unemployment rate, for July, was a historically low 3.5 percent. Also, the economy created 528,000 new jobs in July.

The third piece of this puzzle, JOLTS, is a measure of the number of job vacancies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tracking this since 2000. For the first several years, it varied from 3.4 million to 4.9 million jobs. When the Great Recession hit, it bottomed out at 2.2 million. Since then, the growth has been phenomenal. In March 2022, it hit a peak of 11.9 million. The number fell to 10.7 million in June, then reversed direction in July, climbing to 11.2 million.

The following graph shows the number of job vacancies and the unemployment rate over the last two years.

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