JOLTS data underscores “palpable sense of urgency” when hiring: Morning Brief


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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Employers, especially retailers, might be out of luck this holiday season

Two separate but self-reinforcing news stories shed light on trends that most of us have known for some time, but which are clearly getting worse.

First, for a variety of reasons related to COVID-19 and a tight economy, the upcoming Thanksgiving / Christmas holiday will be different from what we’ve seen in recent memory. The second point – which, if you are a regular Morning Brief reader, will come as no surprise – reinforces the first: there are many more jobs available than there are bodies to fill them.

Nordstrom’s (JWN) announcement on Tuesday that it is seeking to hire nearly 30,000 seasonal workers this year matched the August Job Openings and Turnover Survey (JOLTS) . The monthly series showed that while available job vacancies fell from a record high of over 11 million, more than 10 million people voluntarily left their jobs (to do God knows what).

The staggering resignation rate underscores what Wall Street veteran Chris Rupkey calls “tired workers” leaving for greener pastures. But it also undermines the idea that the job market was constrained by generous COVID-era unemployment benefits, or parents stranded at home with school-aged children who are now returning to classes in person.

“There is a huge labor shortage in the country right now and it’s not just because people are quitting or have childcare issues, or can’t make it to work. because of the Delta variant, ”Rupkey of FWDBONDS wrote on Tuesday.

“The economy is strong as a bull, which is why there is a huge demand for labor. It is no longer necessary for Washington officials to pull out all the stops and throw money into the economy to create jobs. Companies are open and ready to hire, they do not need to be encouraged, they badly need workers, ”added the economist.

The number of people leaving their jobs voluntarily peaks in the JOLTS series.

What it will take to entice workers back into an incredibly hot job market, especially with the holidays looming – and a severe supply shortage threatening to undo Christmas – is an enigma. Still, one thing seems certain: Nordstrom is likely to join an ever-growing list of employers, especially in retail, who will need a lot of luck to fill positions.

Last month, Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel wrote that many companies have been on the hiring spree for months, which means they may not need so many workers on vacation. than in previous years with such a high demand for labor. Part of this was reflected in lower-than-expected non-farm wage data, suggesting that the economy cannot create new jobs until it has filled the jobs that are already available.

Yet among the seasonal openings Konkel noticed something even more interesting: “There is a palpable sense of urgency on the part of employers. In the seven days ending September 22, 10.1% of seasonal job postings indicated that hiring was urgent in the job description, up from 1.0% a year ago and significantly more than the 2 , 6% of overall job postings that noted an urgent hiring.

Labor availability has not improved despite the start of the school year, the end of unemployment sweeteners and the decrease in the Delta variant. And Konkel suggested the scenario would likely get worse before it gets better.

“The shares of seasonal vacancies that indicate urgent hiring or advertise hiring incentives have jumped. But job seekers’ interest is lukewarm at best – lower than in 2019 and 2020, ”the economist wrote.

“If interest does not rise quickly, employer staffing issues could worsen as we head towards peak vacation hiring in November,” she added.

Through Javier E. David, editor of Yahoo finance. Follow him on @Teflongeek

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What to watch today


  • 7:00 am ET: MBA Mortgage Applications, week ended October 8 (-6.9% over the previous week)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Consumer price index, month-to-month, September (0.3% expected, 0.3% the previous month)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: CPI excluding food and energy, from one month to the next, September (0.2% expected, 0.1% the previous month)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Year-on-year CPI, September (5.3% expected, 5.3% the previous month)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: CPI excluding food and energy, year-on-year, September (4.0% forecast, 4.0% the previous month)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Actual average hourly compensation, from one year to the next, September (-1.1% the previous month)

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Actual average weekly earnings, year over year, September (-1.4% the previous month)

  • 2:00 p.m. ET: Minutes of the FOMC meeting


  • 6:15 a.m. ET: Black rock (BLACK) Expected to Report Adjusted Earnings of $ 9.39 per Share on Revenue of $ 4.84 Billion

  • 7:00 am ET: JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Expected to Report Adjusted Earnings of $ 2.97 per Share on Revenue of $ 29.86 Billion

  • 7:00 am ET: Bank of the First Republic (FRC) Expected to Report Adjusted Earnings of $ 1.84 per Share on Revenue of $ 1.27 Billion

  • 8:25 a.m. ET: Delta Airlines (DAL) Expected to Report Adjusted Earnings of 17 cents a Share on Revenue of $ 8.45 Billion


  • President Biden will meet with executives from the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach and hold a panel discussion at 1:45 p.m. ET with companies such as Walmart, UPS and Home Depot to discuss supply chain issues. He will also hold a public briefing on the two topics at 2:20 p.m. ET.

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will release the Fiscal Monitor at 7 a.m. ET.

  • British Chancellor Rishi Sunak is in Washington DC to meet at 3:15 p.m. ET with G7 finance ministers. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be among the attendees.

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