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Expand chart
Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of job openings kept rising in October — though there’s still a whopping shortage for the number of unemployed, according to the Job Openings and Layover Turnover survey (JOLTS) out Wednesday.

The numbers: 6.7 million open jobs, but roughly 10.9 million people considered unemployed.

Why it matters: It’s a more granular look at the labor market improvement before the brakes were tapped in November. It also illustrates how far away the job market is from full recovery.

  • JOLTS is dated, but it offers more clues about the job market than the payrolls report.

What they're saying: "The improvement is good news but it is not good enough for the unemployed," Conrad DeQuadros, an economist at Brean Capital, wrote in a client note.

  • Some sectors are faring worse. Leisure and hospitality, for instance, has 0.2 job openings per unemployed person, DeQuadros notes.

Details:

  • Layoffs and discharges rose by 243,000. But that includes the 90,000+ temporary Census workers let go.
  • The hiring rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 4.1% — historically high, but a slowdown from the 5.4% rate when the economy reopened.
  • The quit rate held at 2.2%, the lowest since March 2018. (When this rises it’s a sign workers feel good enough about the labor market to quit their job.)

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 8, 2021 - Economy & Business

Labor market is moving in the wrong direction

Data: U.S. Department of Labor via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

More than 1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, even as new applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program fell to their lowest level since March.

State of play: The $900 billion stimulus bill passed by Congress at the end of December extended the PUA program through at least March but also added a new verification process that forces applicants to reapply in order to reduce fraud.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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