JOLTS hides inherent weakness in jobs data


Job Openings and Labour Turnover came in yesterday ahead of expectations. It printed at 11.01m, ahead of the 10.28m forecast. JOLTS data is lagging and includes full-time and part-time vacancies. This makes its interpretation murky.

However, the kick up likely comes from the part-time sector. The top chart shows the increase in JOLTS (blue arrow). However, full-time employment has failed to respond. It is falling (red arrow).

Rather, it is the part-time employment series that has responded. This is the bottom chart and shows a positive correlation to JOLTs (green arrow).

Thus, at first glance, JOLTS may suggest a tight labour market. However, the lack of response in full-time employment in favour of part-time employment is more a sign of an inherent weakness.

Image by vishnu vijayan from Pixabay

Russell Shor

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.

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