Newsflash: U.S. businesses have openings for over 5.7 million jobs!
This is the most promising chart that I have seen in a long time. It's put together by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it shows the total number of job openings in the economy (in thousands). Job openings as of July 31st were up an eye-popping 47% since the end of 2013. That works out to a 26% annualized rate of growth, which is simply astounding. We haven't seen anything like this since the stats were first collected in late 2000. It suggests businesses are much more confident about the future. Of course, we have yet to see this increased confidence translate into a meaningful increase in hirings, but it is nevertheless a very encouraging development.
Calculated Risk has more on the subject here.
UPDATE: The very strong JOLTS report is rumored to be the cause of today's stock slump. (i.e., "good news is bad news," because good news makes it easier for the Fed to raise rates). If that's true then I think it's a buying opportunity because a rate hike is very unlikely to hurt the economy's prospects. Higher rates typically occur against a backdrop of a stronger economy. They don't weaken a stronger economy until real short term rates exceed 3-4%, and we are years away from that.