Signs that the job market is slowing have been piling up this week. One of the “brightest” and most touted pieces of the American economy is showing cracks, and many are taking notice.
It took a little time, but United States businesses have warned over the past year that the effects of tariffs would ripple into the labor market. We continued to warn that the effects of this trade war on the American worker and consumer would be felt heavily, while the nation of China is left largely unscathed. But until now, it appears that not many have listened.
According to Business Insider, the Labor Department on Tuesday said the number of job openings fell by 31,000 in July to a seasonally adjusted 7.2 million, the latest sign of weakening labor demand. The results showed openings remained plentiful, but they came just days after the department reported weaker-than-expected figures for August employment.
“Last week’s jobs report sparked a debate over whether the slowdown in hiring is due to an economy hitting full employment, but today’s JOLTS report indicates that this is actually a labor market that is losing momentum,” said Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab.
The US added 130,000 nonfarm payrolls in August, a slowdown from a month earlier and compared with forecasts for an addition of 160,000. Economists said the real increase was closer to 105,000 last month, however, without taking into account a wave of temporary workers hired for the 2020 census. Earlier Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business said small firms reported fewer open positions that they could not fill in August as outlooks for the economy dimmed.
“The good news — relatively — is that capex plans rose a point, though the trend remains weak and continues to signal a clear downshift in business investment through the end of this year and into early 2020,” said Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics according to Business Insider.
The downturn in the economy has been obvious for a little while, and Trump’s trade war is shaking things up in the wrong way. A majority of Americans think a recession will hit the U.S. next year, and most are blaming Trump for starting an economically devastating trade war.