Workers Are Poised to Take Greater Slice of the Pie

This might be labor’s moment—the point when workers finally start grabbing a greater share of the economy, leaving employers and investors with a little less. But the Federal Reserve’s willingness to let that happen hasn’t yet been put to the test.

The Labor Department on Wednesday reported that on the last day of October there were a seasonally adjusted 11 million job openings in the U.S., up from 10.6 million a month earlier. That amounted to a record 1.7 job openings for each unemployed person in the country. The number of job openings was also far in excess of the 6.5 million hires that employers made during the month, pushing the ratio of openings to hires—a measure of how difficult it is to find workers—to yet another record.