The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a monthly survey on changes in the job market, including openings, hires and terminations (forced or voluntary). The chart below is from today’s report and the yellow line is pretty stunning. The number of job openings really began to take off early last year. It slowed down slightly last fall and winter, but has clearly resumed it’s very steep climb.
With so many unfilled openings, employers will be under growing pressure to lift wages. Wage growth during the recovery has been notoriously slow but this chart suggests that the worm may be about to turn and that the long awaited pickup in wage inflation may not be far off. The market turmoil of the last few weeks has probably convinced the Fed not to raise rates at next week’s meeting. But this chart will make it difficult for Janet Yellen and company to continue to postpone the inevitable.