The labor market continues to tighten but inflation is not accelerating.

The conflicting nature of data was highlighted last week. The JOLTS data indicated the number of posted but unfilled job openings increased in March to 7.488 million from 7.142 million at the end of February. The gap between those unemployed and looking for jobs and the number of unfilled jobs increased to a record high of 1.828 million in April. The size of available workers declined in April according to the employment report with the unemployment rate dropping to 3.6%. This condition should be driving wage growth up at a faster pace than has been the case. Average hourly earnings are only up 3.4% in the past year, little changed in the past three years.

 

ProBank Austin Advisor - May 13, 2019