Chart of the week: 2018 set a record in the US labour market

For the first time in 18 years, US companies have more job openings than there are unemployed Americans.

929_COTW

"It has never been easier for Americans to find a job," says Matthew Rocco in the Financial Times. US companies have more job openings than there are unemployed Americans. This is the first time such a scenario has occurred in at least 18 years, since the labour department first began tracking the data in December 2000.The number of jobs on the market first surpassed the number of job seekers in March 2018, when job openings rose to 6.64 million, compared with 6.59 million job seekers. With companies having to compete for workers it's no wonder wage growth is at a ten-year high and people are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate since 2001, says Abigail Hess on CNBC. More than three million people voluntarily leave their work each month.

Viewpoint

"Patrick Connolly of Chase de Vere, a financial planner, says that investors who have previously steered clear of emerging markets because they regarded them as too niche' or too reliant on commodities may have to think again. In 2007 commodities made up 38% of the emerging markets index, while IT was 12% . Today the commodities weighting has fallen to 16%, while IT stands at 26%. This is a big transformation,' he says. Jason Hollands, managing director of Tilney Group, a wealth manager, says that emerging market nations make up 35% of global GDP, but only 11.3% of global equity markets, so they are heavily under-represented. The escalating trade war between China and the US has made people nervous of investing in emerging markets, so they look cheap."

Mark Atherton, The Times

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