U.S. job openings unexpectedly rebounded in August, as the labor market remains surprisingly resilient in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate hike campaign.
The Labor Department said Tuesday there were 9.6 million job openings in August, a marked increase from the revised 8.92 million openings reported the previous month.
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected a reading of 8.8 million.
“Any wonder why the Fed expects to raise interest rates again?” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. “With 1.5 job openings for every unemployed worker, there is little evidence of substantial easing in labor market demand, a risk to getting inflation lower.”
The Federal Reserve closely watches these figures as it tries to gauge labor market tightness and wrestle inflation under control. The surprisingly high figure indicates that demand for employees still outpaces the supply of available workers.
The central bank has responded to the inflation crisis and the extremely tight labor market by raising interest rates at the fastest pace in decades. Officials have so far approved 11 rate hikes, lifting the federal benchmark funds rate to the highest level since 2001. Policymakers have signaled that an additional rate hike is on the table this year if economic data points to a resurgence in price pressures.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.