A new report on job openings and labor turnover shows positive economic signs as the midterm elections near with the employment situation remaining generally positive, including low unemployment.
According to numbers reported on by CNBC, participation in the labor force rose to 62.4 percent in August, which is tied for the highest level seen all year and suggests Americans are becoming convinced of increasing opportunities to find work — something Biden has often touted as a priority, talking about the associated “dignity.” “August did see a sharp bump in the labor force, which increased by 786,000, pushing up the participation rate by 0.3 percentage point to 62.4%, tied for highest of the year,” CNBC notes. The labor force participation rate remains below its pre-pandemic level. There was also a dramatic decline across August in reported numbers of job vacancies, suggesting that supply and demand in the job market are coming into alignment and which media reports tied to interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve meant to tamp down on inflation. Job openings ultimately fell by over a million in August, reaching 10.05 million.
In yet another available metric showing positive signs for employees or those seeking work, new unemployment claims per week recently reached a five-month low, with just 193,000 for the week ending September 24. That is obviously many times below the levels of weekly unemployment claims seen in the middle of the economic upheaval tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s also below recent levels. Per CNBC, new unemployment claims as of that point hadn’t fallen below 200,000 a week since early this May. Another U.S. government report on the job market will come out on Friday, showing numbers for jobs added in September. The Biden admin continues pursuing measures supporting various elements of the U.S. job market, like renewable energy, manufacturing, and construction.
Available numbers indicate a recovery in the manufacturing job market across the U.S. to the point that jobs actually passed pre-pandemic levels, despite historical trends of manufacturers and those working there losing at big levels in periods of economic downturn. Even though job openings declined, the number of new employees hired across the economy in August slightly rose compared to the prior month. At this point, it appears the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates, with inflation, particularly at a year-over-year level, lingering at high levels — a worldwide problem rather than something solely seen in the United States. Declines in gas prices have helped with stemming overall rising prices.