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Unexpectedly, October Had the Lowest Number of Job Opportunities in Two Years

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Unexpectedly, October Had the Lowest Number of Job Opportunities in Two Years

The Federal Reserve’s campaign of raising interest rates is continuing to cool the labor market, as seen by the fact that job postings in the United States fell to their lowest level in over two years in October.

In contrast to the downwardly revised 9.3 million job vacancies reported the previous month, the Labor Department announced on Tuesday that there were 8.7 million job openings in October. Retinitis surveyed economists, and they predicted a reading of 9.3 million.

The number of job opportunities reached its lowest point since March 2021.

The Federal Reserve keeps a close eye on these numbers in an effort to assess how tight the labor market is and manage inflation.

The inflation issue and a very tight labor market have prompted the central bank to raise interest rates at the quickest rate in decades. The federal benchmark funds rate has increased to its highest level since 2001 as a result of the 11 rate hikes that officials have so far approved. If economic data indicates a revival of pricing pressures, policymakers have indicated that more rate hikes are possible.

The less-than-expected jobs report, though, might allow officials to ease up on their tightening effort.

“Federal officials are looking for reports like this one from JOLTS,” stated zOren Klachkin, Nationwide’s financial market economist. Reduced job opportunities, slightly increased layoffs, and consistent resignations suggest that the labor supply and demand are approaching a more balanced state. Most likely, rate increases by Fed officials are complete.”

The number of job opportunities is still historically high. The greatest number ever recorded was 7.6 million prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. About 1.5 jobs are available for every unemployed American.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans quitting their jobs decreased slightly to 3.6 million, or about 2.3% of the labor force, suggesting that employees still have faith in their ability to quit and find other employment.

During the past year, several workers have found great success by changing jobs: According to recent Atlanta Fed data, workers who changed jobs in September experienced a 5.3% pay boost, while those who changed jobs saw a 6.6% gain in their real hourly salary.

The data also showed that, at 1.55 million, layoffs remained relatively stable last month.

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