I am travelling today, hence this abridged post
Job openings climbed to 4.5 million in April, according to the Labor Department‘s report on job openings and labor turnover, or JOLTS. The rate of job openings climbed to 3.1% in April from 2.9% in March, also near a seven-year high. In this month’s report the hiring and layoff rates were little changed. (…)
The quit rate was little changed in today’s report. with 2.5 million Americans voluntary leaving their job in April, the same rate as in March. That’s up from 2.2 million a year earlier and from 1.7 million during the worst of the recession, but still below pre-crisis levels in the range of 2.7 million to 3 million per month. Count the quitters cup a little more than half full, but rising slowly.
Job openings are up 16.5% YoY and are almost back to their 2007 levels.
The FT adds:
At the same time, a survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses published on Tuesday suggested that small businesses are struggling to find qualified applicants.
According to the survey, 46% of those polled said they had trouble finding suitable staff for vacancies – the highest since 2007.
How Demographic Changes Could Boost Americans’ Wages A big demographic shift could finally deliver income growth that U.S. workers have been waiting for, according to an analysis from a home-builder consulting firm published Wednesday.
The U.S. labor pool, defined as residents between ages 20 and 64, is growing at a slower pace this year, and will soon increase just 25% as fast as it has historically, says Chris Porter, chief demographer at John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine, Calif.
The upshot is that, as the pool shrinks, employers are “finally going to have to compete for talent, and that will ultimately result in household incomes that are finally going to rise,” he says.
For the last 30 years, the U.S. has added around 1.8 million eligible workers to the labor pool each year, with around 4.3 million new entrants from those turning 20 years old and around 2.5 million exiting as they turn 65. But in 2012, the labor pool grew by just 900,000, as the number of retirees jumped and unemployment began to fall. And over the next decade, that growth will slow further, to a paltry 200,000 by 2022, estimates Mr. Porter. (…)
His analysis makes a few assumptions about immigration and retirement. He uses a baseline forecast on immigration from the Census Bureau; more robust immigration would boost the potential labor pool somewhat but wouldn’t significantly alter the underlying slowdown in its growth rate.
The same goes for retirement. Yes, older Americans could stay in the workforce longer than they have in the past, but “all it does is delay the inevitable,” Mr. Porter says. Even then, he says, “The underemployed and those who dropped out of the labor force will find it much easier to return to work.”
The bottom line, he says, is that if the U.S. continues to add 2 million jobs a year and the inflow of new potential workers drops below 1 million, labor demand will outstrip supply, pushing up wages.
In a First, Vermont Sets Wage Floor Above $10.10 Vermont is the first state to approve a minimum wage above President Obama’s goal of $10.10 an hour, potentially creating a series of one-upmanship that could elevate wage floors in pockets of the country.
Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, signed the new law Monday to lift the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour by 2018 from the current $8.73 an hour. That tops Connecticut, Hawaii and Maryland, which earlier this year passed eventual increases to $10.10 an hour. The federal level is $7.25 an hour. (…)
The New York legislature passed a gradual increase to $9 an hour just last year, but earlier this month Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw his support behind an effort to raise the state’s rate to $10.10 and allow New York City to set an even higher wage.
California is in the middle of phasing in a minimum-wage increase to $10 an hour. But already Golden State legislators are pushing a $13-an-hour wage. San Francisco and San Jose mandate pay above $10.10 an hour.
Washington has the highest current state minimum wage at $9.32 an hour, and since it is indexed to inflation, likely will top $10 by 2018. The state’s largest city, Seattle, just approved an eventual increase to $15 an hour.
The vacancy rate of sold residential homes in urban areas reached 22.4% in 2013, or 49 million homes, up from 20.6% in 2011, according to the Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance, which conducted the analysis.
The researchers surveyed households in 262 counties in 29 provinces, an expanded sample compared with 2011’s survey of households in 80 counties.
As of August 2013, the amount of outstanding mortgage loans on vacant homes in China reached 4.2 trillion yuan ($674.33 billion), the report added.
The survey included homes left vacant by owners of multiple homes as well as those left empty by owners who have left the city to work elsewhere. In addition to the 49 million sold but vacant units, the survey estimated that China has 3.5 million homes that remain unsold.
(…) If home prices fall by 30%, 11.2% of the vacant homes would be underwater on their mortgages, compared with just 3.3% of occupied homes, it said. (…)
Another property survey released last month by brokerage CLSA Research found that 15% of homes completed in the past five years, or 10.2 million units, are vacant. CLSA studied 609 projects across 12 cities in China, a sample that accounts for 20% of the country’s GDP.
France unveils new spending cuts Hollande seeks to ease taxes on business and households
In a supplementary budget announced on Wednesday, the government added €4bn in extra spending curbs to €14bn already programmed this year to safeguard the 2014 budget deficit target of 3.8 per cent of national output. It reiterated its commitment to bring the deficit down to 3 per cent next year, as demanded by Brussels.
Wednesday’s measures included €6.5bn in tax reductions for businesses over the next two years and €3.6bn in individual levies that the government said would benefit 3.7m households – about the number that have been swept into the income tax net in recent years as taxes rose sharply after the financial crisis.