US job openings data points to growing worker shortage, Latest Business News - The New Paper

US job openings data points to growing worker shortage

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WASHINGTON: US job openings rebounded in October but hiring continued to lag, suggesting a recent slowdown in job growth was most likely because employers could not find qualified workers.

The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or Jolts, released by the Labor Department on Monday underscored tightening labour market conditions, which economists say will encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next week.

"This report continues to paint a picture of an increasingly tight labour market," said Mr John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York. "It continues to signal that the Fed has fully met its employment objective."

Job openings, a measure of labour demand, increased by 119,000 to a seasonally adjusted 7.1 million. That lifted the job openings rate to 4.5 per cent from 4.4 per cent in September. There were 6.1 million people unemployed in October.

Hiring rose by 196,000 to 5.9 million, matching August's record high. The hiring rate increased to 3.9 per cent from 3.8 per cent in September.

The government reported last Friday a slowdown in job growth in November, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 155,000 jobs. The economy created 237,000 jobs in October. With job openings outpacing the number of unemployed people, economists expect employment growth to continue slowing through 2019.

"...The country is running out of workers and this will slow economic growth within the next few years," said Mr Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. - REUTERS