Monday, October 19, 2009

Another JOLTS jolt

The number of job-seekers per available opening continues to rise, says Heidi Shierholz (right) of the Economic Policy Institute.

Dissecting the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey -- JOLTS -- Shierholz reports that the U.S. in August saw 6.3 job-seekers per available job, up from 6 per job in July.

JOLTS, published monthly, showed the country had 12.5 million more unemployed workers than job openings in August, Shierholz said. The math played out like this: job openings down 21,000 to 2.4 million, ranks of unemployed workers up by 466,000 to 14.9 million.

While the drop in job openings has slowed, Shierholz says, "it is nevertheless getting harder every month for job-seekers to find a job as more people continue to become unemployed and openings for new jobs continue to drop."

Here's her chart showing the rise in job-seekers per available job. Note the sharp increase since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007.

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