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Today’s Chart: Consumer Confidence and Job Quits

Consumers have been confident about the state of the labor market in recent months. The Conference Board, a private research organization, reported on Tuesday that more consumers feel that jobs are plentiful, as opposed to hard to get. In October, 24.3 percent of consumers responded that jobs are plentiful, in contrast to 22.1 percent of consumers that believe jobs are hard to get, a differential of 2.2 percent.

The differential between the share of consumers that feel jobs are plentiful and the share of consumers that believe jobs are hard to get has been above zero since July, the longest positive trend since the Great Recession. At the same time, consumers are quitting jobs at a faster pace, presumably for a better job.

The quits rate, which is the number of workers who quit their job as share of total employment, has been trending higher since the end of the recession. When the recession ended in 2009, the quits rate was 1.3 percent. Today the quits rate is 2.1 percent. Looking ahead, it is likely that consumers will remain confident about the labor market because firms have an elevated number of job openings. As of August, the number of job openings stood at 5.4 million, slightly off their all-time high of 5.8 million in July.

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