Yesterday's JOLTS data came in at 8.83m. This was lower than the previous 9.17m and below the consensus of 9.49m. This reiterates the part of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's Jackson Hole speech suggesting that the US labour market is continuing to rebalance. Chair Powell pointed out that "Job openings remain high but are trending lower" and that "The rebalancing of the labour market has continued over the past year but remains incomplete."
Momentum-wise, the decline in the JOLTS data has increased. This is evident from the shift in the trendline gradient for the green trendline to the orange trendline. This visually connotes that the labour market rebalancing is continuing.
The data indicated that there are 1.5 job openings for every unemployed person, which is the lowest ratio since September 2021. Moreover, the quits rate was at its lowest since January 2021 at 2.3%. It had peaked in April 2022 at 3.3%. This advocates that there is less confidence in the labour market amongst workers.
While the JOLTS data was released, the Conference Board Consumer Confidence also showed a decline, coming in at 106.1 vs the 116 expected.
The concurrent data resulted in the US 2-year yield dropping by its largest decline in a month (red arrow). The CME FedWatch Tool shows an 86.5% probability that the Fed will leave rates unchanged at its next meeting on 20 September.
There are still important data points this week including the core PCE tomorrow and the non-farm employment change on Friday, which could show further moderation.
Senior Market Specialist
Russell Shor joined FXCM in October 2017 as a Senior Market Specialist. He is a certified FMVA® and has an Honours Degree in Economics from the University of South Africa. Russell is a full member of the Society of Technical Analysts in the United Kingdom. With over 20 years of financial markets experience, his analysis is of a high standard and quality.