Those particular jobs, most of them blue-collar jobs, are good ones by today’s standards. But they aren’t the only ones that generate line-ups out the door and down the block.
The reason for that can be seen in the chart from the Economic Policy Institute at the top of this post. When the series began in December 2000, the ratio was what now feels like a miraculous 1.1 to 1. But that was the Clinton boom. At one point in the summer of 2009, the figure was 6.9 to 1. Clearly, there has been a lot of improvement in the ratio of job openings to job seekers. It’s now only 3.4 to 1. So the lines are shorter, but for the two-plus people standing in them who don’t get the nod, the search for employment is no less painful.