Wow! What A Labor Market!

We can talk all day (sometimes I do) about how important the flow (through borders) of goods, capital and, yes, labor (people) is — or we can simply look at the data:

In terms of labor, WOW! America literally has more job openings than it has unemployed folks to fill them:

If you don’t believe the numbers (some folks actually tell me they don’t!), perhaps you’ll believe the employers of 2/3rds of America.

Here’s from the August National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) survey (btw, the optimism reading hit an all-time high in August):

“Sixty-two percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 3 points), but 55 percent (up 3 points and 89 percent of those hiring or trying to hire) reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. A record 25 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (up 2 points). Thirty-eight percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, a new survey record high.” 

Bottom line: Yes that’s good news in terms of wage growth going forward. Also, however, add that lack of labor (adding to wage growth) to higher import (and input) costs (trade war) and we’re talking higher inflation (and interest rates) going forward — on top of the ultimate economic issues created by the trade war (should it escalate/last).


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