The JOLTS report is the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Job Openings fell to 5.383 million in October vs. the revised 5.534 million in September. Job openings fell 1 tenth to 3.6 percent, which in comparison to October of last year is still greater by 2 tenths. The hiring rate and quits rates remained unchanged at 3.6% and 1.9% respectively, which is a low reading that does not point to worker confidence in switching jobs. On the positive side, there was a 1 tenth dip in the layoff rate to 1.2%.
According to the latest data jobless claims are up 13,000 compared to the prior week for a total of 282,000. This is the highest level since July; however the 4 week average is stable, up only 1,500 to a 270,750 level which is only slightly higher than a month ago. Continuing claims also show an uncommon increase up a sharp 82,000 to 2.243 million for the week of November 28th, the highest reading since September. The 4 week average is up 16,000 to 2.183 million, showing about a 20,000 increase from last month.
The Consumer sentiment survey is directly related to the strength of consumer spending, it is a survey done by The University of Michigan questioning 500 households each month on their financial conditions and attitudes about the economy. Consumer sentiment fell back severely in the last half of November, from 93.1 in mid-November to a final reading of 91.3. But, it is bouncing back after tumbling following the Paris attacks. The mid December index comes to 91.8, 5 tenths above the final November reading. This report shows strength in core retail sales and current strength in the job market.
Luxury homes, defined as the priciest 5% of home sales, saw its first drop in prices in three years according to the latest from the Redfin luxury home price report. The luxury market was the first to recover after the housing crisis and now it’s indicating a future slowing of price growth for the rest of the market. Sales at the top end of the market continue to rise, but prices are declining. Luxury market prices fell 2.2% from last year. Prices in the rest of the market, however, continue to increase at a rate of 3.8%. This decline is a potential signal that home prices may start to slow down across the board as we step into the New Year