Just when the Fed thought that the White House had instructed Biden's Department of Labor to go easy on the fabricated data, and after several months of declining job openings and easing payrolls in line with an economy that is gradually slowing if not outright falling into a recession, moments ago the BLS absolutely shocked and stunned markets, strategists and economists when the DOL decided to come up with the biggest data fabrication in years, and reported that in August job openings exploded from 8.827MM to a mindblowing 9.61 million. The increase, a staggering 690K (from the upward revised July print of 8.920MM), was the biggest monthly increase since July 2021 (!)...
... which not only came above the highest forecast but was a 5-sigma beat to the median expectation of 8.815MM...
... the biggest such "beat" since Sept 2022.
According to the BLS, job openings increased in professional and business services (+509,000), finance and insurance (+96,000), state and local government education (+76,000), nondurable goods manufacturing (+59,000), and federal government (+31,000). Again: it is the BLS' position that there was a 35% increase in professional and business services job openings, an absolutely hilarious goalseeking of data.
The surge in the number of job openings meant that in August the number of job openings was 3.255 million more than the number of unemployed workers, back to the highest since May and reversing the last three months of normalization in the labor maret.
Curiously, despite the surge in job openings, the recent spike in unemployed workers (recall the surge in the unemployment rate), meant that the number of job openings for every unemployed worker was unchanged to 1.51.
And while the number of job openings was farcical and clearly politically mandated, one certainly could not see a similar euphoria in the other data points tracked by the JOLTS reported, starting with the number of quits, which barely increased in July, rising by just 19K to 3.638 million, effectively remaining at the lowest level since May 2021.
Furthermore, while the DOL goalseeked job openings sharply higher, it forgot to do the same to not only quits but also hires; in fact, hires rose a tiny 35K to 5.5857 million, also just barely above the lowest level since March 2021.
And while we have previously discussed the chronic fabrication of job openings data by the BLS, which goes against all private surveys, we are confident that when the Biden admin finally falls and some enterprising forensic accountant digs to find out just where all these bullshit numbers came from, what they will find is some political hack at the BLS/DOL claiming that it's not their fault, but rather that it's the response rate. And indeed, as the BLS itself indicates, the response rate to most of its various labor (and other) surveys has collapsed in recent years, nothing is as bad as the JOLTS report where the actual response rate has tumbled to a record low 31%
In other words, more than two thirds, or 70% of the final number of job openings, is estimated!
And at a time when it is critical for Biden to still maintain the illusion that at least the labor market remains strong when everything else in Biden's economy is crashing and burning (or soaring and burning as may be the case of inflation) we'll let readers decide if the admin's Labor Department is plugging the estimate gap with numbers that are stronger or weaker.
As for the market, for now it is going with the increasingly laughable fiction that the US has completely decoupled from every other country in the world, and amid fears that a November hike may be in the books, yields and the dollar spiked...
... sending stocks sharply lower.