On November 1st, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will be releasing its JOLTS data for September which will include the much-anticipated job openings data for the month. Based on LinkUp’s job listings data sourced directly from company websites in August and September, we are forecasting that job openings in the U.S. declined last month, dropping 2.2% to 9,830,000.
LinkUp has been forecasting a decline in the JOLTS number for the past three months. And while the July decline came as a surprise, August’s significant decrease brought job openings back in line to the levels we’d expect based on the millions of job openings data we scrape directly from company websites throughout the world on a daily basis.
We’d argue that the LinkUp dataset has provided a much more stable and clear view into the labor market as compared to BLS JOLTS data. LinkUp has shown a consistent decline of job vacancies since peaking in March, whereas the BLS JOLTS has observed a seemingly anomalous (and quite unexpected—perhaps even inexplicable) increase two months ago.
Regardless, there is little doubt that labor demand continues to decline significantly, and the possibility of achieving equilibrium between labor demand and labor supply with minimal pain in the form of layoffs and a sharp increase in unemployment seems to be rising. It seems unlikely, but we’ll soon find out if the Fed shares the same perspective.