You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • OPEC seen unlikely to cut output despite oil glut
    VIENNA (AP) — OPEC oil ministers meeting in Vienna today are in a bind. Prices are plunging — and in the short term, the cartel may not be able to do much about it.
  • Toyota recalls more cars for air bag problems
    TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. recalled more than 40,000 vehicles in Japan today as part of a worldwide scare over defective air bags and officials are investigating a new type of air bag problem that could lead to further recalls.
  • Obama's immigration move disappoints businesses
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration left out some of the business community's top priorities, disappointing business leaders who might have stepped up to defend his policies in the face of Republican
Advertisement

Open jobs highest since '01

Signs of labor market healing on Yellen's 'dashboard'

WASHINGTON – Job openings rose in June to the highest level in more than 13 years, firming up the U.S. labor market picture for the second half of the year.

The number of unfilled positions climbed by 94,000 to 4.67 million, the most since February 2001, from a revised 4.58 million in May, a report from the Labor Department showed Tuesday.

Tuesday’s figures are among those on Federal Reserve Chair Jan­et Yellen’s employment “dashboard,” which she uses to help guide monetary policy. The increase in openings, combined with the high­est readings on the number of peo­ple hired and leaving their jobs since 2008, means the healing in the labor market is broadening, albeit at a measured rate.

“There’s improvement, but it’s still slow and uneven,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. Hiring, firings and quits will need to be closer to pre-recession levels “before Yellen and Co. get concerned that maybe the economy might be overheating.”

The Job Openings and Labor Turn­over Survey, or JOLTS, contextualizes monthly payroll figures by measuring dynamics including resignations, help-wanted ads and the pace of hiring.

Although it lags behind the Labor Department’s other jobs data by a month, Yellen follows the report as a measure of labor-market tightness and worker confidence.

Tuesday’s figures indicate there are about two unemployed people vying for each opening. The ratio when the last recession began in December 2007 was 1.8 job seekers per opening.

Payrolls expanded by 209,000 workers in July, following a 298,000 gain the prior month, Labor Department figures showed last week. Gains have exceeded 200,000 for six consecutive months, the first time that’s happened since 1997.

The improving conditions drew more job seekers into the labor force, pushing up the unemploy­ment rate to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent.

Two-thirds of Yellen’s dashboard measures are still shy of their pre-recession levels, including the share of jobless Americans who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer, and the portion of the working-age population in the labor force.

Advertisement