07.09.2013 Policy Points

Job Openings In May 2013

From the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis of the May 2013 version of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) …

In May, the number of job seekers, which increased by 101,000 from April, was 11.8 million (unemployment data are from the Current Population Survey … ). The “job-seekers ratio”—the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings—was unchanged in May at 3.1-to-1. The ratio has been 3.0-to-1 or greater since October 2008, more than four-and-a-half years ago. A job-seekers ratio above 3-to-1 means there are no jobs for more than two out of three unemployed workers. To put today’s ratio of 3.1-to-1 in perspective, the highest the ratio ever got in the early 2000s downturn was 2.9-to-1 in September 2003. In a labor market with strong job opportunities, the ratio would be close to 1-to-1, as it was in December 2000 (when it was 1.1-to-1).

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