All eyes were on the US Fed’s FOMC statement last week, in which the smallest change (the addition of the word ‘some’ before ‘further improvement in the labour market’) meant the most to economists. Janet Yellen and her FOMC want to see greater labour market tightening before starting to hike rates – but what exactly will they be looking for? One measure, the number of job vacancies (JOLTS), has hit its highest point since the inception of the series. Before the financial crisis, the Fed’s policy rate moved with the JOLTS number, however the past seven years of near-zero interest rate policy and rising vacancies has created a massive gap between the two figures. Next week’s new JOLTS release could add one more data point to the Fed’s ammunition for a September hike.