The Job Openings and Labor Turnover data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the ratio of job seekers to job openings in November was 2.7-to-1. This means that for more than three out of five job seekers, there simply are no jobs. In her analysis, EPI Economist Heidi Shierholz notes that the improvement in the ratio of job seekers to job openings in this recovery (from a peak of 6.7-to-1 in July 2009) overstates the improvement in job opportunities.
“Most of the decline in the number of job seekers is because roughly 6 million would-be workers are sidelined; they are neither employed nor looking for work due to the weak labor market,” said Shierholz. “These missing workers are not counted as unemployed, but many will become job seekers when a robust jobs recovery finally begins, so job openings will be needed for them, too.”