Highlights

  • US job openings hit 2.5-year low amid rising interest rates.
  • Hiring in key sectors drops significantly, impacting accommodation industries.

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US job openings plummet to 2.5-year low amidst rising interest rates

Employment suffered a setback, decreasing by 18,000 to 5.886 million in October. The accommodation and food services sector, previously a significant contributor to job expansion after the pandemic, notably saw a drop of 110,000 in hiring.

US job openings plummet to 2.5-year low amidst rising interest rates

In a significant downturn for the labor market, job openings in the United States have plunged to a 2.5-year low in October. The drop, reported in the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday, is considered a clear indicator that rising interest rates are curbing the demand for workers.

The data revealed a decline of 617,000 job openings, marking a decrease to 8.733 million vacancies by the end of October. This figure stands as the lowest level recorded since March 2021, sharply down from 9.350 million openings noted in September, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Economists, who had anticipated approximately 9.30 million job openings for October, were taken aback by the larger-than-expected decline.

Sectors like health care and social assistance experienced the steepest drops, witnessing a reduction of 236,000 unfilled positions. The finance and insurance industry saw a decrease of 168,000 openings, while real estate, rental, and leasing noted a decline of 49,000 positions. However, the information sector bucked the trend, with an increase of 39,000 job openings.

Hiring also took a hit, slipping by 18,000 to 5.886 million in October. The accommodation and food services industry, which had been a key driver of job growth during the post-pandemic recovery, experienced a notable decline of 110,000 in hiring.

Additionally, resignations fell by 18,000 to 3.628 million, holding the quits rate steady at 2.3% for the fourth consecutive month. This decline in resignations suggests a potential slowdown in wage growth and, consequently, a reduction in price pressures within the economy.

Analysts are interpreting these numbers as a sign that the Federal Reserve might halt its monetary policy tightening cycle. Despite the gradual easing of the labor market, experts remain optimistic, stating that a significant recession is improbable. Economists forecast tepid growth in the wake of economic activity cooling down in the fourth quarter.

However, they anticipate a modest rise in nonfarm payrolls for November, indicating the return of approximately 33,000 striking United Auto Workers union members.

The overall sentiment among experts is cautiously optimistic, suggesting that while the labor market is easing, the situation is manageable and does not necessitate immediate recalibration.

Also Watch: Germany's unemployment soars to 2 1/2-year high amid economic slump


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