Economic Indicators JOLTS

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) tells us how many job openings there are each month, how many workers were hired, how many quit their job, how many were laid off, and how many experienced other separations (which includes worker deaths).


Key numbers • September 2020

6.4 million Number of job openings at the end of September
1.8 Job seekers ratio • The number of unemployed persons per job opening
5.4 million Excess unemployed • The number of unemployed persons in excess of the number job openings
6.8 million Jobs deficit • The difference between the total number of hires and the total number of separations since February

September

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows declines in hires: As winter hits, the Biden administration will be facing a mounting, not waning, crisis

Next update: December  2020

By Elise Gould • November 10, 2020

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that, as of the middle of September, the economy was still 10 million jobs below where it was in February. Job growth slowed considerably over the last few months and the jobs deficit in October was easily over 11.6 million from where we would have been if the economy had continued adding jobs at the pre-pandemic pace.

Today’s BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reports job openings changed little at 6.4 million in September while hires and layoffs fell. While the slowdown in layoffs is promising from 1.5 million to 1.3 million, the softening in hires is a concern (6.0 million to 5.9 million). The U.S. economy is seeing a significantly slower pace of hiring than we experienced in May or June—hiring is roughly where it was before the recession, which is a big problem given that we have more than 11.6 million jobs to make up. And job openings are now substantially below where they were before the recession began (6.4 million at the end of September, compared to 7.1 million on average in the year prior to the recession). No matter how it is measured, the U.S. economy is facing a huge job shortfall.

One of the most striking indicators from today’s report is the job seekers ratio, that is, the ratio of unemployed workers (averaged for mid-September and mid-October) to job openings (at the end of September). On average, there were 11.8 million unemployed workers while there were only 6.4 million job openings. This translates into a job seeker ratio of about 1.8 unemployed workers to every job opening. Another way to think about this: for every 18 workers who were officially counted as unemployed, there were only available jobs for 10 of them. That means, no matter what they did, there were no jobs for 5.4 million unemployed workers. And this misses the fact that many more weren’t counted among the unemployed. The economic pain remains widespread with more than 25 million workers hurt by the coronavirus downturn. Without congressional action to stimulate the economy, we are facing a slow, painful recovery.

As winter approaches and many families face eviction and hunger as well as growing COIVD-19 cases, the Biden administration will be facing a mounting, not waning, crisis. We cannot wait: Congress must take immediate action to provide relief to all of those unemployed workers who have no hope for employment and are desperately trying to make ends meet. The first dose of austerity exhibited by the loss to the vital enhanced unemployment insurance benefit in August is already taking a toll on job creation. At this slowing pace of job growth, it will take years to return to the pre-pandemic labor market and the economic pain will be deep and long-lasting.

Quick reminders about the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS):

  • JOLTS data provide information on all pieces that go into the net change in the number of jobs. These components include hires, layoffs, voluntary quits, and other job separations (which includes retirements and worker deaths). Putting those components together reveals the overall (or net) change.
  • JOLTS data provide information about the end of one month to the end of the next, whereas the monthly employment numbers provide information from the middle of one month to the middle of the next.

Hires, quits, and layoff rates, 2000–2020

Date Hires Quits Layoffs
Dec-2000 4.1 2.2 1.5
Jan-2001 4.3 2.5 1.7
Feb-2001 4 2.3 1.4
Mar-2001 4.2 2.3 1.6
Apr-2001 3.9 2.4 1.4
May-2001 4.1 2.3 1.5
Jun-2001 3.9 2.2 1.5
Jul-2001 4 2.2 1.6
Aug-2001 4 2.2 1.5
Sep-2001 3.8 2.1 1.6
Oct-2001 3.9 2.1 1.8
Nov-2001 3.7 1.9 1.7
Dec-2001 3.7 1.9 1.5
Jan-2002 3.7 2.2 1.5
Feb-2002 3.7 2 1.5
Mar-2002 3.6 1.9 1.4
Apr-2002 3.8 2 1.5
May-2002 3.7 1.9 1.5
Jun-2002 3.7 1.9 1.5
Jul-2002 3.8 2 1.6
Aug-2002 3.7 2 1.5
Sep-2002 3.7 1.9 1.5
Oct-2002 3.7 1.9 1.5
Nov-2002 3.7 1.8 1.5
Dec-2002 3.7 1.9 1.5
Jan-2003 3.9 1.9 1.6
Feb-2003 3.6 1.9 1.5
Mar-2003 3.4 1.8 1.5
Apr-2003 3.5 1.8 1.5
May-2003 3.6 1.8 1.6
Jun-2003 3.6 1.8 1.6
Jul-2003 3.6 1.8 1.6
Aug-2003 3.6 1.7 1.7
Sep-2003 3.7 1.8 1.5
Oct-2003 3.8 1.9 1.5
Nov-2003 3.7 1.8 1.5
Dec-2003 3.8 1.9 1.5
Jan-2004 3.7 1.8 1.6
Feb-2004 3.7 1.9 1.5
Mar-2004 4 2 1.6
Apr-2004 3.9 1.9 1.5
May-2004 3.8 1.8 1.5
Jun-2004 3.8 2 1.4
Jul-2004 3.7 2 1.4
Aug-2004 3.8 2 1.5
Sep-2004 3.8 1.9 1.5
Oct-2004 3.9 1.9 1.4
Nov-2004 3.9 2.1 1.5
Dec-2004 3.9 2 1.5
Jan-2005 3.9 2.1 1.5
Feb-2005 4 2 1.5
Mar-2005 4 2.1 1.6
Apr-2005 4 2.1 1.5
May-2005 3.9 2.1 1.5
Jun-2005 4 2.1 1.5
Jul-2005 4 2 1.4
Aug-2005 4 2.2 1.4
Sep-2005 4.1 2.3 1.5
Oct-2005 3.8 2.1 1.4
Nov-2005 4 2.1 1.3
Dec-2005 3.9 2.1 1.4
Jan-2006 3.9 2.2 1.3
Feb-2006 4 2.2 1.4
Mar-2006 4.1 2.2 1.4
Apr-2006 3.8 2 1.4
May-2006 4 2.2 1.5
Jun-2006 4 2.2 1.3
Jul-2006 4.1 2.2 1.4
Aug-2006 3.9 2.2 1.3
Sep-2006 3.9 2.1 1.3
Oct-2006 3.9 2.2 1.4
Nov-2006 4 2.2 1.4
Dec-2006 3.8 2.2 1.3
Jan-2007 3.9 2.2 1.4
Feb-2007 3.8 2.1 1.3
Mar-2007 4 2.2 1.4
Apr-2007 3.9 2.1 1.5
May-2007 4 2.2 1.4
Jun-2007 3.8 2.1 1.3
Jul-2007 3.8 2.1 1.4
Aug-2007 3.9 2.2 1.5
Sep-2007 3.9 2 1.6
Oct-2007 3.9 2.1 1.5
Nov-2007 3.7 2 1.4
Dec-2007 3.7 2 1.4
Jan-2008 3.7 2.1 1.5
Feb-2008 3.7 2.1 1.4
Mar-2008 3.6 1.9 1.4
Apr-2008 3.6 2.1 1.4
May-2008 3.4 1.9 1.4
Jun-2008 3.6 1.9 1.6
Jul-2008 3.4 1.8 1.5
Aug-2008 3.4 1.8 1.6
Sep-2008 3.3 1.8 1.5
Oct-2008 3.3 1.7 1.7
Nov-2008 3 1.6 1.7
Dec-2008 3.2 1.5 1.9
Jan-2009 3.1 1.5 1.9
Feb-2009 3 1.5 1.9
Mar-2009 2.9 1.4 1.9
Apr-2009 2.9 1.3 2
May-2009 2.9 1.3 1.7
Jun-2009 2.8 1.3 1.7
Jul-2009 3 1.3 1.7
Aug-2009 2.9 1.2 1.6
Sep-2009 3 1.3 1.7
Oct-2009 3 1.3 1.6
Nov-2009 3.1 1.4 1.5
Dec-2009 3.1 1.4 1.6
Jan-2010 3 1.3 1.5
Feb-2010 3 1.4 1.4
Mar-2010 3.3 1.4 1.5
Apr-2010 3.2 1.5 1.3
May-2010 3.4 1.4 1.3
Jun-2010 3.1 1.5 1.6
Jul-2010 3.2 1.4 1.7
Aug-2010 3.1 1.4 1.4
Sep-2010 3.1 1.5 1.4
Oct-2010 3.2 1.4 1.3
Nov-2010 3.2 1.4 1.4
Dec-2010 3.3 1.5 1.4
Jan-2011 3.1 1.4 1.4
Feb-2011 3.2 1.5 1.3
Mar-2011 3.4 1.5 1.4
Apr-2011 3.3 1.4 1.4
May-2011 3.2 1.5 1.4
Jun-2011 3.3 1.5 1.5
Jul-2011 3.2 1.5 1.4
Aug-2011 3.3 1.5 1.4
Sep-2011 3.3 1.5 1.4
Oct-2011 3.3 1.5 1.4
Nov-2011 3.3 1.5 1.4
Dec-2011 3.3 1.5 1.4
Jan-2012 3.3 1.5 1.4
Feb-2012 3.4 1.6 1.4
Mar-2012 3.4 1.6 1.3
Apr-2012 3.3 1.6 1.4
May-2012 3.4 1.6 1.5
Jun-2012 3.3 1.6 1.4
Jul-2012 3.2 1.5 1.3
Aug-2012 3.3 1.5 1.4
Sep-2012 3.2 1.5 1.3
Oct-2012 3.3 1.5 1.4
Nov-2012 3.3 1.5 1.4
Dec-2012 3.3 1.5 1.3
Jan-2013 3.3 1.7 1.2
Feb-2013 3.4 1.7 1.2
Mar-2013 3.2 1.6 1.3
Apr-2013 3.4 1.7 1.3
May-2013 3.4 1.6 1.3
Jun-2013 3.3 1.6 1.3
Jul-2013 3.3 1.7 1.3
Aug-2013 3.5 1.7 1.3
Sep-2013 3.5 1.7 1.4
Oct-2013 3.3 1.7 1.2
Nov-2013 3.4 1.7 1.2
Dec-2013 3.4 1.7 1.3
Jan-2014 3.4 1.7 1.3
Feb-2014 3.4 1.7 1.3
Mar-2014 3.5 1.8 1.2
Apr-2014 3.5 1.8 1.3
May-2014 3.5 1.8 1.2
Jun-2014 3.5 1.8 1.3
Jul-2014 3.6 1.9 1.3
Aug-2014 3.5 1.8 1.2
Sep-2014 3.7 2 1.2
Oct-2014 3.7 1.9 1.3
Nov-2014 3.6 1.8 1.2
Dec-2014 3.7 1.8 1.3
Jan-2015 3.6 2 1.3
Feb-2015 3.6 1.9 1.2
Mar-2015 3.6 2 1.4
Apr-2015 3.7 1.9 1.3
May-2015 3.6 1.9 1.2
Jun-2015 3.6 1.9 1.3
Jul-2015 3.6 1.9 1.2
Aug-2015 3.6 2 1.2
Sep-2015 3.7 2 1.4
Oct-2015 3.7 2 1.3
Nov-2015 3.8 2 1.2
Dec-2015 3.9 2.1 1.3
Jan-2016 3.6 2 1.3
Feb-2016 3.9 2.1 1.3
Mar-2016 3.7 2 1.3
Apr-2016 3.7 2.1 1.2
May-2016 3.6 2.1 1.2
Jun-2016 3.7 2.1 1.2
Jul-2016 3.8 2.1 1.2
Aug-2016 3.7 2.1 1.3
Sep-2016 3.6 2.1 1.1
Oct-2016 3.6 2.1 1.1
Nov-2016 3.7 2.1 1.2
Dec-2016 3.7 2.1 1.2
Jan-2017 3.8 2.2 1.2
Feb-2017 3.7 2.1 1.2
Mar-2017 3.7 2.1 1.2
Apr-2017 3.6 2.1 1.2
May-2017 3.7 2.1 1.2
Jun-2017 3.9 2.2 1.3
Jul-2017 3.7 2.1 1.3
Aug-2017 3.8 2.1 1.3
Sep-2017 3.7 2.2 1.2
Oct-2017 3.8 2.2 1.2
Nov-2017 3.7 2.1 1.2
Dec-2017 3.7 2.2 1.2
Jan-2018 3.7 2.1 1.3
Feb-2018 3.8 2.1 1.2
Mar-2018 3.8 2.2 1.2
Apr-2018 3.8 2.3 1.2
May-2018 3.9 2.3 1.2
Jun-2018 3.9 2.3 1.2
Jul-2018 3.8 2.3 1.2
Aug-2018 3.9 2.3 1.2
Sep-2018 3.8 2.3 1.2
Oct-2018 3.9 2.3 1.2
Nov-2018 3.9 2.3 1.3
Dec-2018 3.8 2.3 1.2
Jan-2019 3.9 2.4 1.2
Feb-2019 3.8 2.4 1.2
Mar-2019 3.8 2.3 1.1
Apr-2019 4 2.3 1.3
May-2019 3.8 2.3 1.2
Jun-2019 3.8 2.3 1.2
Jul-2019 4 2.4 1.2
Aug-2019 3.9 2.3 1.2
Sep-2019 3.9 2.3 1.3
Oct-2019 3.8 2.3 1.2
Nov-2019 3.9 2.3 1.2
Dec-2019 3.9 2.3 1.2
Jan-2020 3.9 2.3 1.1
Feb-2020 3.8 2.3 1.2
Mar-2020 3.4 1.8 7.6
Apr-2020 3.1 1.4 5.9
May-2020 5.4 1.6 1.4
Jun-2020 5.1 1.9 1.4
Jul-2020 4.2 2.1 1.3
Aug-2020 4.2 2 1.1
Sep-2020 4.1 2.1 0.9

 

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Notes: Shaded areas denote recessions. The hires rate is the number of hires during the entire month as a percent of total employment. The layoff rate is the number of layoffs and discharges during the entire month as a percent of total employment. The quits rate is the number of quits during the entire month as a percent of total employment.

Source: EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

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Total hires, layoffs, and quits, 2000-2020

Date Hires Quits Layoffs
Dec-2000                    5,426                2,868           2,035
Jan-2001                    5,722                3,261           2,220
Feb-2001                    5,303                3,040           1,838
Mar-2001                    5,528                3,041           2,126
Apr-2001                    5,204                3,172           1,880
May-2001                    5,410                2,991           2,041
Jun-2001                    5,109                2,886           2,004
Jul-2001                    5,244                2,969           2,060
Aug-2001                    5,223                2,933           2,004
Sep-2001                    4,954                2,704           2,101
Oct-2001                    5,078                2,798           2,327
Nov-2001                    4,914                2,544           2,260
Dec-2001                    4,829                2,553           1,931
Jan-2002                    4,855                2,857           1,908
Feb-2002                    4,801                2,558           1,964
Mar-2002                    4,706                2,479           1,870
Apr-2002                    4,928                2,633           1,956
May-2002                    4,857                2,536           1,977
Jun-2002                    4,869                2,529           2,003
Jul-2002                    4,946                2,579           2,120
Aug-2002                    4,871                2,567           1,915
Sep-2002                    4,879                2,522           2,016
Oct-2002                    4,798                2,426           1,940
Nov-2002                    4,792                2,388           1,950
Dec-2002                    4,893                2,490           2,014
Jan-2003                    5,058                2,436           2,113
Feb-2003                    4,714                2,473           2,006
Mar-2003                    4,470                2,382           1,939
Apr-2003                    4,600                2,289           1,999
May-2003                    4,678                2,290           2,078
Jun-2003                    4,682                2,322           2,065
Jul-2003                    4,639                2,283           2,078
Aug-2003                    4,666                2,201           2,154
Sep-2003                    4,799                2,357           1,927
Oct-2003                    4,902                2,421           1,975
Nov-2003                    4,767                2,395           1,954
Dec-2003                    4,984                2,436           2,012
Jan-2004                    4,900                2,360           2,044
Feb-2004                    4,788                2,437           1,972
Mar-2004                    5,227                2,573           2,052
Apr-2004                    5,152                2,541           2,013
May-2004                    4,976                2,427           1,917
Jun-2004                    5,009                2,667           1,877
Jul-2004                    4,891                2,631           1,895
Aug-2004                    5,013                2,591           1,964
Sep-2004                    5,062                2,535           2,024
Oct-2004                    5,149                2,558           1,911
Nov-2004                    5,181                2,776           2,042
Dec-2004                    5,153                2,687           1,953
Jan-2005                    5,201                2,740           2,017
Feb-2005                    5,276                2,642           2,059
Mar-2005                    5,273                2,738           2,179
Apr-2005                    5,362                2,747           1,961
May-2005                    5,271                2,763           2,020
Jun-2005                    5,376                2,759           2,007
Jul-2005                    5,328                2,744           1,905
Aug-2005                    5,409                2,963           1,900
Sep-2005                    5,493                3,051           2,031
Oct-2005                    5,124                2,869           1,881
Nov-2005                    5,344                2,881           1,773
Dec-2005                    5,294                2,841           1,926
Jan-2006                    5,271                2,949           1,796
Feb-2006                    5,474                2,948           1,875
Mar-2006                    5,524                2,948           1,877
Apr-2006                    5,215                2,783           1,856
May-2006                    5,498                3,003           1,988
Jun-2006                    5,455                3,046           1,807
Jul-2006                    5,573                3,059           1,865
Aug-2006                    5,373                3,062           1,771
Sep-2006                    5,288                2,895           1,828
Oct-2006                    5,375                2,992           1,905
Nov-2006                    5,495                3,025           1,928
Dec-2006                    5,214                2,987           1,775
Jan-2007                    5,426                2,959           1,936
Feb-2007                    5,160                2,921           1,845
Mar-2007                    5,479                2,985           1,872
Apr-2007                    5,353                2,913           2,002
May-2007                    5,469                3,012           1,963
Jun-2007                    5,267                2,912           1,836
Jul-2007                    5,217                2,958           1,904
Aug-2007                    5,358                3,023           2,029
Sep-2007                    5,344                2,698           2,186
Oct-2007                    5,398                2,933           2,005
Nov-2007                    5,176                2,774           1,967
Dec-2007                    5,119                2,763           1,923
Jan-2008                    5,071                2,851           2,010
Feb-2008                    5,077                2,866           1,990
Mar-2008                    4,924                2,652           1,906
Apr-2008                    4,948                2,840           1,957
May-2008                    4,691                2,609           1,948
Jun-2008                    4,893                2,597           2,153
Jul-2008                    4,637                2,495           2,076
Aug-2008                    4,682                2,452           2,185
Sep-2008                    4,499                2,477           2,087
Oct-2008                    4,548                2,352           2,253
Nov-2008                    4,104                2,148           2,289
Dec-2008                    4,348                2,081           2,497
Jan-2009                    4,095                1,978           2,614
Feb-2009                    4,061                1,945           2,590
Mar-2009                    3,858                1,829           2,560
Apr-2009                    3,888                1,713           2,651
May-2009                    3,758                1,684           2,228
Jun-2009                    3,639                1,686           2,242
Jul-2009                    3,857                1,689           2,274
Aug-2009                    3,810                1,561           2,113
Sep-2009                    3,944                1,631           2,195
Oct-2009                    3,838                1,663           2,028
Nov-2009                    4,024                1,803           1,911
Dec-2009                    4,004                1,758           2,045
Jan-2010                    3,904                1,744           1,902
Feb-2010                    3,864                1,834           1,817
Mar-2010                    4,302                1,853           1,916
Apr-2010                    4,159                1,898           1,744
May-2010                    4,420                1,814           1,761
Jun-2010                    4,111                1,911           2,061
Jul-2010                    4,163                1,789           2,173
Aug-2010                    4,046                1,852           1,886
Sep-2010                    4,034                1,901           1,834
Oct-2010                    4,173                1,848           1,746
Nov-2010                    4,182                1,881           1,848
Dec-2010                    4,299                1,968           1,865
Jan-2011                    4,000                1,833           1,846
Feb-2011                    4,231                1,952           1,748
Mar-2011                    4,430                2,028           1,787
Apr-2011                    4,296                1,883           1,787
May-2011                    4,261                1,966           1,903
Jun-2011                    4,366                1,923           1,926
Jul-2011                    4,261                1,990           1,850
Aug-2011                    4,298                2,043           1,842
Sep-2011                    4,429                2,045           1,875
Oct-2011                    4,370                2,000           1,796
Nov-2011                    4,365                2,031           1,911
Dec-2011                    4,356                1,975           1,811
Jan-2012                    4,457                2,032           1,817
Feb-2012                    4,560                2,123           1,896
Mar-2012                    4,575                2,163           1,775
Apr-2012                    4,389                2,136           1,868
May-2012                    4,533                2,140           1,968
Jun-2012                    4,440                2,151           1,883
Jul-2012                    4,327                2,075           1,729
Aug-2012                    4,450                2,080           1,889
Sep-2012                    4,302                1,957           1,808
Oct-2012                    4,389                2,037           1,897
Nov-2012                    4,489                2,070           1,920
Dec-2012                    4,452                2,045           1,708
Jan-2013                    4,487                2,281           1,690
Feb-2013                    4,571                2,281           1,655
Mar-2013                    4,369                2,118           1,780
Apr-2013                    4,572                2,297           1,786
May-2013                    4,663                2,237           1,833
Jun-2013                    4,440                2,203           1,755
Jul-2013                    4,561                2,367           1,731
Aug-2013                    4,730                2,331           1,814
Sep-2013                    4,726                2,307           1,892
Oct-2013                    4,518                2,374           1,681
Nov-2013                    4,622                2,384           1,630
Dec-2013                    4,614                2,281           1,774
Jan-2014                    4,626                2,312           1,815
Feb-2014                    4,696                2,401           1,758
Mar-2014                    4,763                2,441           1,697
Apr-2014                    4,880                2,476           1,752
May-2014                    4,808                2,486           1,706
Jun-2014                    4,925                2,506           1,753
Jul-2014                    5,008                2,637           1,801
Aug-2014                    4,810                2,564           1,698
Sep-2014                    5,149                2,737           1,716
Oct-2014                    5,111                2,721           1,844
Nov-2014                    4,978                2,588           1,727
Dec-2014                    5,192                2,543           1,860
Jan-2015                    5,061                2,766           1,800
Feb-2015                    5,127                2,731           1,746
Mar-2015                    5,126                2,748           1,960
Apr-2015                    5,196                2,706           1,848
May-2015                    5,142                2,746           1,708
Jun-2015                    5,125                2,756           1,813
Jul-2015                    5,150                2,768           1,721
Aug-2015                    5,163                2,888           1,773
Sep-2015                    5,287                2,783           1,963
Oct-2015                    5,338                2,814           1,852
Nov-2015                    5,358                2,891           1,779
Dec-2015                    5,540                3,043           1,804
Jan-2016                    5,204                2,893           1,831
Feb-2016                    5,559                2,997           1,926
Mar-2016                    5,362                2,900           1,877
Apr-2016                    5,277                2,954           1,774
May-2016                    5,206                3,010           1,792
Jun-2016                    5,277                2,988           1,733
Jul-2016                    5,419                2,976           1,786
Aug-2016                    5,301                3,007           1,827
Sep-2016                    5,283                3,044           1,596
Oct-2016                    5,234                3,078           1,636
Nov-2016                    5,316                3,017           1,767
Dec-2016                    5,380                2,986           1,718
Jan-2017                    5,517                3,176           1,765
Feb-2017                    5,366                3,081           1,698
Mar-2017                    5,395                3,134           1,749
Apr-2017                    5,265                3,034           1,704
May-2017                    5,454                3,126           1,796
Jun-2017                    5,642                3,157           1,958
Jul-2017                    5,502                3,118           1,900
Aug-2017                    5,528                3,134           1,866
Sep-2017                    5,401                3,212           1,807
Oct-2017                    5,635                3,193           1,819
Nov-2017                    5,473                3,157           1,732
Dec-2017                    5,426                3,222           1,736
Jan-2018                    5,511                3,034           1,957
Feb-2018                    5,669                3,175           1,781
Mar-2018                    5,629                3,301           1,794
Apr-2018                    5,587                3,373           1,729
May-2018                    5,819                3,405           1,776
Jun-2018                    5,783                3,389           1,807
Jul-2018                    5,691                3,443           1,791
Aug-2018                    5,792                3,446           1,796
Sep-2018                    5,610                3,400           1,780
Oct-2018                    5,855                3,485           1,830
Nov-2018                    5,818                3,460           1,910
Dec-2018                    5,762                3,415           1,832
Jan-2019                    5,834                3,530           1,734
Feb-2019                    5,703                3,541           1,791
Mar-2019                    5,689                3,525           1,698
Apr-2019                    6,000                3,492           1,950
May-2019                    5,687                3,486           1,764
Jun-2019                    5,760                3,481           1,763
Jul-2019                    5,975                3,612           1,812
Aug-2019                    5,839                3,544           1,792
Sep-2019                    5,959                3,429           1,962
Oct-2019                    5,757                3,442           1,778
Nov-2019                    5,857                3,528           1,769
Dec-2019                    5,927                3,528           1,893
Jan-2020                    5,921                3,575           1,749
Feb-2020                    5,864                3,436           1,846
Mar-2020                    5,111                2,789        11,489
Apr-2020                    4,047                1,877           7,708
May-2020                    7,199                2,067           1,903
Jun-2020                    6,970                2,605           1,995
Jul-2020                    5,903                2,932           1,745
Aug-2020                    5,952                2,839           1,533
Sep-2020                    5,871                3,018           1,333
ChartData Download data

The data below can be saved or copied directly into Excel.

Note: Shaded areas denote recessions.

Source: EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

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The job-seekers ratio, 2000–2020

Date Unemployed job seekers per job opening
Dec-2000 1.20
Jan-2001 1.13
Feb-2001 1.22
Mar-2001 1.32
Apr-2001 1.31
May-2001 1.41
Jun-2001 1.49
Jul-2001 1.49
Aug-2001 1.75
Sep-2001 1.83
Oct-2001 2.10
Nov-2001 2.23
Dec-2001 2.33
Jan-2002 2.17
Feb-2002 2.45
Mar-2002 2.37
Apr-2002 2.38
May-2002 2.39
Jun-2002 2.46
Jul-2002 2.41
Aug-2002 2.34
Sep-2002 2.52
Oct-2002 2.40
Nov-2002 2.52
Dec-2002 2.82
Jan-2003 2.45
Feb-2003 2.71
Mar-2003 2.84
Apr-2003 2.77
May-2003 2.73
Jun-2003 2.69
Jul-2003 2.91
Aug-2003 2.78
Sep-2003 2.86
Oct-2003 2.60
Nov-2003 2.62
Dec-2003 2.54
Jan-2004 2.39
Feb-2004 2.39
Mar-2004 2.39
Apr-2004 2.27
May-2004 2.20
Jun-2004 2.45
Jul-2004 2.07
Aug-2004 2.24
Sep-2004 2.09
Oct-2004 2.01
Nov-2004 2.36
Dec-2004 2.00
Jan-2005 2.06
Feb-2005 2.01
Mar-2005 1.92
Apr-2005 1.79
May-2005 1.97
Jun-2005 1.83
Jul-2005 1.70
Aug-2005 1.79
Sep-2005 1.71
Oct-2005 1.78
Nov-2005 1.80
Dec-2005 1.73
Jan-2006 1.62
Feb-2006 1.67
Mar-2006 1.51
Apr-2006 1.43
May-2006 1.55
Jun-2006 1.53
Jul-2006 1.60
Aug-2006 1.47
Sep-2006 1.42
Oct-2006 1.46
Nov-2006 1.50
Dec-2006 1.55
Jan-2007 1.48
Feb-2007 1.48
Mar-2007 1.38
Apr-2007 1.41
May-2007 1.46
Jun-2007 1.45
Jul-2007 1.52
Aug-2007 1.55
Sep-2007 1.54
Oct-2007 1.55
Nov-2007 1.64
Dec-2007 1.74
Jan-2008 1.65
Feb-2008 1.81
Mar-2008 1.84
Apr-2008 1.94
May-2008 2.00
Jun-2008 2.27
Jul-2008 2.42
Aug-2008 2.55
Sep-2008 3.02
Oct-2008 3.03
Nov-2008 3.46
Dec-2008 3.82
Jan-2009 4.57
Feb-2009 4.64
Mar-2009 5.41
Apr-2009 6.05
May-2009 5.67
Jun-2009 5.82
Jul-2009 6.50
Aug-2009 6.31
Sep-2009 6.12
Oct-2009 6.31
Nov-2009 6.23
Dec-2009 6.06
Jan-2010 5.32
Feb-2010 5.72
Mar-2010 5.70
Apr-2010 4.69
May-2010 4.86
Jun-2010 5.15
Jul-2010 4.66
Aug-2010 4.83
Sep-2010 5.00
Oct-2010 4.54
Nov-2010 4.70
Dec-2010 4.78
Jan-2011 4.49
Feb-2011 4.29
Mar-2011 4.26
Apr-2011 4.17
May-2011 4.34
Jun-2011 4.00
Jul-2011 3.75
Aug-2011 4.13
Sep-2011 3.66
Oct-2011 3.68
Nov-2011 3.79
Dec-2011 3.53
Jan-2012 3.28
Feb-2012 3.54
Mar-2012 3.19
Apr-2012 3.26
May-2012 3.28
Jun-2012 3.24
Jul-2012 3.31
Aug-2012 3.20
Sep-2012 3.14
Oct-2012 3.17
Nov-2012 3.21
Dec-2012 3.23
Jan-2013 3.12
Feb-2013 2.97
Mar-2013 2.87
Apr-2013 2.87
May-2013 2.80
Jun-2013 2.77
Jul-2013 2.87
Aug-2013 2.74
Sep-2013 2.73
Oct-2013 2.57
Nov-2013 2.65
Dec-2013 2.58
Jan-2014 2.49
Feb-2014 2.38
Mar-2014 2.29
Apr-2014 2.10
May-2014 2.02
Jun-2014 1.91
Jul-2014 1.95
Aug-2014 1.75
Sep-2014 1.87
Oct-2014 1.78
Nov-2014 1.89
Dec-2014 1.77
Jan-2015 1.63
Feb-2015 1.57
Mar-2015 1.64
Apr-2015 1.52
May-2015 1.53
Jun-2015 1.56
Jul-2015 1.32
Aug-2015 1.44
Sep-2015 1.45
Oct-2015 1.37
Nov-2015 1.43
Dec-2015 1.38
Jan-2016 1.29
Feb-2016 1.36
Mar-2016 1.30
Apr-2016 1.33
May-2016 1.33
Jun-2016 1.34
Jul-2016 1.27
Aug-2016 1.38
Sep-2016 1.36
Oct-2016 1.36
Nov-2016 1.28
Dec-2016 1.29
Jan-2017 1.33
Feb-2017 1.23
Mar-2017 1.22
Apr-2017 1.15
May-2017 1.20
Jun-2017 1.09
Jul-2017 1.10
Aug-2017 1.10
Sep-2017 1.08
Oct-2017 1.04
Nov-2017 1.07
Dec-2017 1.05
Jan-2018 0.99
Feb-2018 1.00
Mar-2018 0.94
Apr-2018 0.90
May-2018 0.91
Jun-2018 0.87
Jul-2018 0.84
Aug-2018 0.84
Sep-2018 0.84
Oct-2018 0.84
Nov-2018 0.82
Dec-2018 0.88
Jan-2019 0.84
Feb-2019 0.88
Mar-2019 0.82
Apr-2019 0.81
May-2019 0.82
Jun-2019 0.84
Jul-2019 0.83
Aug-2019 0.82
Sep-2019 0.82
Oct-2019 0.80
Nov-2019 0.85
Dec-2019 0.89
Jan-2020 0.83
Feb-2020 0.92
Mar-2020 2.51
Apr-2020 4.41
May-2020 3.61
Jun-2020 2.84
Jul-2020 2.23
Aug-2020 2.06
Sep-2020 1.84
ChartData Download data

The data below can be saved or copied directly into Excel.

Notes: Shaded areas denote recessions. Unemployment levels represent the average of the unemployment level for the current month and the subsequent month in the Current Population Survey to better line up with the job openings data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

Source: EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and Current Population Survey

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Job openings levels and unemployment levels, 2000–2020

Date Job openings level Unemployment level
Dec-2000                       4,868                       5,829
Jan-2001                       5,362                       6,056
Feb-2001                       5,008                       6,115
Mar-2001                       4,698                       6,206
Apr-2001                       4,752                       6,249
May-2001                       4,503                       6,355
Jun-2001                       4,378                       6,534
Jul-2001                       4,578                       6,813
Aug-2001                       4,042                       7,092
Sep-2001                       4,045                       7,418
Oct-2001                       3,729                       7,849
Nov-2001                       3,649                       8,131
Dec-2001                       3,523                       8,220
Jan-2002                       3,782                       8,199
Feb-2002                       3,377                       8,260
Mar-2002                       3,573                       8,452
Apr-2002                       3,576                       8,499
May-2002                       3,508                       8,396
Jun-2002                       3,415                       8,392
Jul-2002                       3,461                       8,347
Aug-2002                       3,531                       8,278
Sep-2002                       3,290                       8,279
Oct-2002                       3,502                       8,414
Nov-2002                       3,405                       8,580
Dec-2002                       3,039                       8,580
Jan-2003                       3,500                       8,569
Feb-2003                       3,178                       8,603
Mar-2003                       3,064                       8,715
Apr-2003                       3,208                       8,900
May-2003                       3,336                       9,112
Jun-2003                       3,398                       9,139
Jul-2003                       3,073                       8,954
Aug-2003                       3,204                       8,909
Sep-2003                       3,082                       8,827
Oct-2003                       3,330                       8,654
Nov-2003                       3,218                       8,447
Dec-2003                       3,281                       8,344
Jan-2004                       3,462                       8,269
Feb-2004                       3,478                       8,329
Mar-2004                       3,492                       8,331
Apr-2004                       3,615                       8,191
May-2004                       3,758                       8,249
Jun-2004                       3,345                       8,211
Jul-2004                       3,900                       8,063
Aug-2004                       3,556                       7,959
Sep-2004                       3,829                       7,994
Oct-2004                       3,970                       7,997
Nov-2004                       3,360                       7,933
Dec-2004                       3,935                       7,859
Jan-2005                       3,827                       7,882
Feb-2005                       3,901                       7,859
Mar-2005                       4,019                       7,705
Apr-2005                       4,272                       7,662
May-2005                       3,842                       7,588
Jun-2005                       4,072                       7,465
Jul-2005                       4,337                       7,376
Aug-2005                       4,160                       7,449
Sep-2005                       4,376                       7,503
Oct-2005                       4,218                       7,510
Nov-2005                       4,118                       7,423
Dec-2005                       4,146                       7,172
Jan-2006                       4,404                       7,124
Feb-2006                       4,260                       7,128
Mar-2006                       4,706                       7,096
Apr-2006                       4,915                       7,050
May-2006                       4,505                       6,991
Jun-2006                       4,625                       7,088
Jul-2006                       4,467                       7,133
Aug-2006                       4,739                       6,969
Sep-2006                       4,778                       6,787
Oct-2006                       4,643                       6,800
Nov-2006                       4,530                       6,817
Dec-2006                       4,469                       6,939
Jan-2007                       4,750                       7,022
Feb-2007                       4,618                       6,829
Mar-2007                       4,926                       6,791
Apr-2007                       4,820                       6,808
May-2007                       4,699                       6,873
Jun-2007                       4,882                       7,064
Jul-2007                       4,668                       7,108
Aug-2007                       4,586                       7,119
Sep-2007                       4,682                       7,204
Oct-2007                       4,676                       7,239
Nov-2007                       4,537                       7,443
Dec-2007                       4,400                       7,665
Jan-2008                       4,604                       7,591
Feb-2008                       4,233                       7,660
Mar-2008                       4,205                       7,730
Apr-2008                       4,124                       8,016
May-2008                       4,237                       8,485
Jun-2008                       3,849                       8,756
Jul-2008                       3,800                       9,188
Aug-2008                       3,709                       9,466
Sep-2008                       3,240                       9,784
Oct-2008                       3,403                     10,306
Nov-2008                       3,158                     10,912
Dec-2008                       3,059                     11,672
Jan-2009                       2,731                     12,478
Feb-2009                       2,838                     13,162
Mar-2009                       2,521                     13,640
Apr-2009                       2,343                     14,176
May-2009                       2,574                     14,603
Jun-2009                       2,517                     14,654
Jul-2009                       2,264                     14,708
Aug-2009                       2,365                     14,912
Sep-2009                       2,481                     15,181
Oct-2009                       2,422                     15,286
Nov-2009                       2,435                     15,159
Dec-2009                       2,487                     15,072
Jan-2010                       2,833                     15,080
Feb-2010                       2,651                     15,158
Mar-2010                       2,679                     15,264
Apr-2010                       3,217                     15,087
May-2010                       3,019                     14,662
Jun-2010                       2,813                     14,493
Jul-2010                       3,127                     14,580
Aug-2010                       3,025                     14,614
Sep-2010                       2,912                     14,548
Oct-2010                       3,256                     14,799
Nov-2010                       3,134                     14,715
Dec-2010                       2,969                     14,181
Jan-2011                       3,100                     13,917
Feb-2011                       3,213                     13,779
Mar-2011                       3,253                     13,847
Apr-2011                       3,337                     13,906
May-2011                       3,207                     13,909
Jun-2011                       3,467                     13,863
Jul-2011                       3,676                     13,791
Aug-2011                       3,358                     13,883
Sep-2011                       3,763                     13,771
Oct-2011                       3,650                     13,448
Nov-2011                       3,485                     13,198
Dec-2011                       3,662                     12,945
Jan-2012                       3,904                     12,805
Feb-2012                       3,605                     12,763
Mar-2012                       3,976                     12,680
Apr-2012                       3,878                     12,653
May-2012                       3,861                     12,676
Jun-2012                       3,916                     12,674
Jul-2012                       3,790                     12,564
Aug-2012                       3,839                     12,293
Sep-2012                       3,861                     12,120
Oct-2012                       3,808                     12,065
Nov-2012                       3,787                     12,152
Dec-2012                       3,840                     12,385
Jan-2013                       3,915                     12,211
Feb-2013                       3,981                     11,820
Mar-2013                       4,080                     11,725
Apr-2013                       4,078                     11,707
May-2013                       4,173                     11,703
Jun-2013                       4,166                     11,543
Jul-2013                       3,946                     11,307
Aug-2013                       4,112                     11,275
Sep-2013                       4,105                     11,203
Oct-2013                       4,268                     10,962
Nov-2013                       4,002                     10,596
Dec-2013                       3,996                     10,303
Jan-2014                       4,131                     10,276
Feb-2014                       4,347                     10,365
Mar-2014                       4,388                     10,041
Apr-2014                       4,662                       9,781
May-2014                       4,775                       9,660
Jun-2014                       4,999                       9,534
Jul-2014                       4,919                       9,604
Aug-2014                       5,383                       9,431
Sep-2014                       4,876                       9,126
Oct-2014                       5,066                       9,040
Nov-2014                       4,719                       8,904
Dec-2014                       4,981                       8,801
Jan-2015                       5,362                       8,742
Feb-2015                       5,446                       8,557
Mar-2015                       5,208                       8,533
Apr-2015                       5,712                       8,692
May-2015                       5,599                       8,541
Jun-2015                       5,263                       8,207
Jul-2015                       6,143                       8,080
Aug-2015                       5,510                       7,950
Sep-2015                       5,445                       7,915
Oct-2015                       5,832                       7,961
Nov-2015                       5,573                       7,954
Dec-2015                       5,676                       7,814
Jan-2016                       5,994                       7,734
Feb-2016                       5,757                       7,846
Mar-2016                       6,137                       7,960
Apr-2016                       5,868                       7,822
May-2016                       5,812                       7,727
Jun-2016                       5,768                       7,722
Jul-2016                       6,094                       7,734
Aug-2016                       5,716                       7,888
Sep-2016                       5,816                       7,897
Oct-2016                       5,626                       7,658
Nov-2016                       5,867                       7,492
Dec-2016                       5,835                       7,507
Jan-2017                       5,607                       7,459
Feb-2017                       5,872                       7,244
Mar-2017                       5,816                       7,087
Apr-2017                       6,142                       7,072
May-2017                       5,851                       6,996
Jun-2017                       6,351                       6,900
Jul-2017                       6,354                       6,982
Aug-2017                       6,335                       6,969
Sep-2017                       6,239                       6,720
Oct-2017                       6,383                       6,648
Nov-2017                       6,204                       6,629
Dec-2017                       6,235                       6,572
Jan-2018                       6,645                       6,612
Feb-2018                       6,575                       6,567
Mar-2018                       6,865                       6,456
Apr-2018                       6,985                       6,314
May-2018                       7,028                       6,364
Jun-2018                       7,280                       6,350
Jul-2018                       7,326                       6,174
Aug-2018                       7,249                       6,106
Sep-2018                       7,282                       6,084
Oct-2018                       7,237                       6,079
Nov-2018                       7,509                       6,160
Dec-2018                       7,303                       6,401
Jan-2019                       7,520                       6,349
Feb-2019                       7,048                       6,188
Mar-2019                       7,364                       6,022
Apr-2019                       7,284                       5,894
May-2019                       7,300                       5,962
Jun-2019                       7,185                       6,006
Jul-2019                       7,236                       6,013
Aug-2019                       7,166                       5,876
Sep-2019                       7,046                       5,805
Oct-2019                       7,309                       5,834
Nov-2019                       6,793                       5,782
Dec-2019                       6,552                       5,823
Jan-2020                       7,012                       5,840
Feb-2020                       7,004                       6,464
Mar-2020                       6,011                     15,109
Apr-2020                       4,996                     22,032
May-2020                       5,371                     19,368
Jun-2020                       6,001                     17,044
Jul-2020                       6,697                     14,944
Aug-2020                       6,352                     13,065
Sep-2020                       6,436                     11,821
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Notes: Shaded areas denote recessions. Unemployment levels represent the average of the unemployment level for the current month and the subsequent month in the Current Population Survey to better line up with the job openings data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

Source: EPI analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and Current Population Survey. Unemployment levels represent the average of the unemployment level for the current month and the subsequent month to better line up with the job openings data.

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