Latest JOLTS data indicates job openings down slightly for October

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The latest data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, or JOLTS Survey, indicate that, for the month of October, the number of job openings decreased from 10.7 million to 10.3 million. 

Southeast Missouri State University professor David Yaskewich said this is a small step in the right direction. 

“We’re moving in a certain direction, but this other takeaway would be that it’s inching, and it is gradually moving in that direction,” he said.

He says we’re not out of the woods just yet, and the labor market is still tight. 

“We’re nowhere near the tip of the iceberg when in terms of seeing labor shortages go away or seeing the labor market really loosen or show some slack,” he said. “I would say we’re still in a tight labor market.” 

The Federal Reserve’s efforts to control inflation by raising interest rates are also aimed at bringing the labor market back to normalcy.

Southern Illinois University professor Kevin Sylwester said there are fears that the Federal Reserve may tip move the needle too far.

“What some concerns are is that maybe the Federal Reserve has been a little too aggressive in raising interest rates, and instead of slowing down the economy just enough to bring inflation down, it will slow it down too much and tip the pendulum the other way possibly leading toward recession,” he said.

Sylwester said there are positive signs, but future data sets will give us a better understanding of the direction the economy is headed. 

“There are signs that at least these indicators are back to normal,” he said. “Of course, economists and others will keep watch on the latest data that’s coming out.” 

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