Two Reasons It's A Big Day For Janet Yellen

It’s a big day for Janet Yellen. For two reasons.

One of them you certainly already know: The new Fed Chair is giving her first Humphrey-Hawkins testimony in front of Congress. These will be her first public comments since taking office, and the entire world will be hanging on her every word. We’ll be covering that live.

Today is also the release of one of Janet Yellen’s favourite economic datapoint: JOLTS.

JOLTS stands for Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey, and unlike the normal jobs report, it looks at things like how many people quit their jobs, and how many job openings went unfilled and stuff like that. Looking at the number of unfilled jobs relative to the number of newly employed people can give you a good sense of whether the problems in the labour market are cyclical (merely a function of the economic cycle) or structural (whether they’re a matter of some mismatch in the labour market). So far, there’s been very little evidence of a structural employment problem.

As for the state of JOLTS, here’s some background from Calculated Risk:

At 10:00 AM, the Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey for December from the BLS. Jobs openings increased in November to 4.001 million from 3.931 million in October. The number of job openings were up 5.6% year-over-year compared to November 2012 and this was the first time job openings had been above 4 million since 2008. Quits increased in November and were up about 13% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations, so this is a positive indicator.

We’ll be covering it all LIVE.

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