Workplace

Job market check-up


Fresh data coming this week will offer more clues about one of the great puzzles of the moment: The labor market. How long can it stay so strong?

A one-two punch from The Labor Department, which releases hiring and quits numbers on Tuesday in the JOLTS report, and the September jobs data on Friday morning.

The ratio of job openings to unemployed workers is something Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell likes to refer to when talking about the overheated labor market.

  • There were two jobs available for every unemployed person, according to last month's report. But that covered July activity.
  • Job postings on Indeed.com have since drifted down, said Nick Bunker, the site's chief economist.

In a report out Monday, Indeed goes deep on the retail sector, which has seen some slowing in hiring but not much in the way of layoffs. That could be the mythical "soft landing" that some folks still talk about, Bunker said.

  • "It's unclear if this could happen in the labor market overall," he said. "But worth noting."