Article 43


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Desperately Seeking Work


Our goal is not to find a qualified U.S. worker.
- Cohen & Grigsby, Jobs Who Won’t Do?, June 2007

As America’s rulers are gaining vast wealth, they also are eliminating the remainder of America’s middle class.
- Peter Stern, America The Beautiful Ain’t So Pretty Anymore - November 28, 2007

The number of job seekers per job openings is now firmly in recessionary territory - at a higher level than during any month of the official 2001 recessionand it shows no signs of leveling off. There are now 5.4 million more job seekers than job openings in the United States, and that number is expected to increase as the downturn deepens. Millions of dedicated, productive American workers are experiencing the hardship and insecurity of unemployment with little hope of finding a job. The job openings data represent one more strong indicator of the need for a second stimulus package that is targeted directly at job creation.
- Heidi Shierholz, No Jobs - September 17, 2008

Displacement rates which measure job losses due to plant closures, the elimination of positions, or other shifts in labor demand are at the highest level on record for older workers.
- Emily Garr, Boomers Burned By Recession, February 4, 2009

The American economy has gone away. It is not coming back until free trade myths are buried six feet under.
- Paul Craig Roberts, How The US Economy Was Lost, Feb 24, 2009

Another 539,000 jobs disappeared from the economy in April, and the unemployment rate jumped to 8.9 percent, its highest level in a quarter century.
- NY Times, US Jobless Rate Hits 8.9%, May 8, 2009

Without substantial additional stimulus, the economy will likely reach double-digit unemployment by the end of the year.
- Heidi Shierholz, Unemployment Still Growing, May 8, 2009

Nearly five unemployed workers for every available job

By Heidi Shierholz
Economic Policy Institute
May 12, 2009

Job openings decreased by 256,000 in March 2009, down to 2.7 million for the month according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the JOB OPENINGS ABD LABOR TURNOVER SURVEY (JOLTS).  In December 2007, the start of the recession, there were 4.4 million job openings, 61.3% more than there were in March.

At the SAME TIME that job openings have been declining, more and more workers have been LOOSING THEIR JOBS.  In March, there were 13.2 million unemployed workers, which translates into 4.8 unemployed workers for every available job.  To put that ratio in perspective it helps to compare it to the start of the recession when there were 1.7 unemployed workers per job opening, or to December 2000 (the first month of the JOLTS series), when there were 1.1 unemployed workers per job opening.  The chart below shows the number of job seekers per opening over the course of the entire data series.


Although employment and unemployment numbers for April are already available, the JOLTS data are released with a one-month lag.  Nonetheless, given last Fridays announcement that the unemployment rolls increased last month by 563,000, it is almost certain that there will be at least five unemployed workers per job opening in the April JOLTS report.  Despite the fact that the April report showed that the pace of job losses is slowing, there are still millions of jobless workers with little hope of finding employment in this dramatically weakened labor market.


Posted by Elvis on 05/13/09 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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