The Labor Market Refuses To Slow Down

September JOLTS Press Release

Published on Nov 2, 2022

Written by Lightcast Press Office

Despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool off the labor market, the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows job openings rose to 10.7 million in September, up from 10.1 million, while the number of hires edged down to 6.1 million. Total separations decreased to 5.7 million, while quits held steady at 4.1 million and layoffs declined slightly to 1.3 million.

Overall, there were still two job openings for every available worker in September–a historically tight labor market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

“This looks like a job market that’s ramping up, not slowing down. People are talking about layoffs increasing everywhere, but that’s not what the data shows,” said Lightcast Senior Economist Layla O’Kane.

Senior Economist Layla O’Kane and Chief Economist Bledi Taska provided commentary on the JOLTS report as part of a LinkedIn Live session. Watch it here.

Key takeaways:

1.  The labor market is still showing resilience despite the turbulent economic factors around it. With the Federal Reserve expected to announce its latest interest rate decision Wednesday, there’s little incentive for policymakers to back off from higher interest rates.

“There’s no question about a rate hike now. It was almost certain before and absolutely certain now,” said Lightcast Chief Economist Bledi Taska.

2. Despite high-profile layoff discussions in Silicon Valley, job openings in the information sector increased and separations declined. 

“We’re not getting what people have been afraid of, which is layoffs. It’s important to remember that the tech sector is bigger than Silicon Valley. In the tech sector overall, demand is still strong,” said Lightcast Senior Economist Layla O’Kane.

3. Consumer savings are still high, and workers aren’t showing signs of being afraid to spend yet, which suggests a strong holiday shopping season.

“Overall, the economy is very healthy. Workers feel secure, their job is not on the line, so they continue spending. This is very good news for everyone except (Fed Chairman) Jerome Powell,” said Lightcast Chief Economist Bledi Taska.

The next view into the job market will come with Friday’s Employment Situation report, which will provide the latest unemployment and job creation numbers. Senior Economists Ron Hetrick and Rucha Vankudre will analyze the results in a LinkedIn Live at 9 a.m. ET Friday.


Line graph showing monthly job openings, up to 10.7 million from 10.28
chart of layoffs and quits over time
hires and separations over time, ticking slightly down
ratio of unemployed individuals per job opening, down to 0.54 from 0.58