Economics and markets

Labor market pulse: Signs of softening in hiring data

August 24, 2023

A line chart showing the JOLTS hires rate and Vanguard hires rate from April 2003 through July 2023. The JOLTS hires rate begins the period at about 3.5% and is relatively stable with two exceptions: a notable dip during the 2008 global financial crisis and a spike during the COVID-19 recession. It finishes the period at 3.8% as of June 2023.  The Vanguard hires rate begins the period at about 2.2% and is consistently below the JOLTS hirings rate but rises and falls roughly in unison with it, including during the global financial crisis. An exception is during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the JOLTS hirings rate spikes but Vanguard’s hirings rate drops sharply. Vanguard’s hirings rate finishes the period at 2.1% as of July 2023, down from 2.4% in June 2023.
Four lines show the hiring rates from January 2013 through July 2023 for four sectors: media, entertainment, and leisure; business, professional, and nonprofit services; manufacturing; and education and health.  Three of the four sectors show a decline in their hires rates beginning around the end of 2021 through the end of the period. The exception is education and health, which starts on a similar downward trend but has recovered in recent months. As of July 2023, the hires rates were 2.0% for business, professional, and nonprofit services; 1.7% for manufacturing; 1.6% for education and health; and 1.3% for media, entertainment, and leisure.


David Pakula, CFA
Adam Schickling, CFA
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