It’s Janet Yellen day today, with the new Fed chair testifying on Capitol Hill about the state of monetary policy.
Then at 10:00 a.m., the Bureau of Labour Statistics will release the Job Openings and Labour Market Survey (“JOLTS” report), which Yellen herself has cited as an important labour market indicator.
So here are the four charts we’ll be looking at today.
Job openings are on the rise, up 5.6% year-over-year compared to November 2012.
Hires have been climbing slightly.
Layoffs are way down, which may be good, unless it’s a sign of “labour hoarding.” The idea here is that firms may be stockpiling the labour they have in order to maximise the productivity of the workers that outlasted the recession. When you see layoffs plunging but hires yet to really break through, it’s an indication of labour hoarding instead of growth.
Quits have increased, up about 13% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations, so that’s a good thing. People tend to quit their jobs if they’re confident in the labour market and economy.
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