It's taking an unusually long time to fill vacant jobs in the US

Business is about leverage.

Who has it, who has lost it, and what people are getting paid for it.

Right now, employees are slowly taking back leverage from employers in the labour market, and this chart from Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Sløk shows a big reason why.

Right now, as employers spend more and more time trying to fill each job opening, they are facing two choices: continue to spend an increasing amount of time hiring, or offer higher pay to expedite the process.

Over the last few months, as job gains have continued, we’re still waiting for big, clear signs of wage growth, though there are some indications that this is coming.

As we’ve noted time and again, job gains are running far above average, job openings continue to surge higher, and unemployment claims are still near 15-year lows.

In an email on Friday, Sløk noted that though some economic data has disappointed of late, the economy is still close to full capacity, and this chart points to a fairly tight labour market.

On Thursday we highlighted survey results from the New York Fed that showed employers are having trouble finding qualified workers. And the takeaway from all this is pointing towards one thing: if you want the best employees, you’re going to have to pay up.

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