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BLS Releases Latest Job Openings Data, Number Of Unemployed People Per Open Spot Increases In February To 5.5

Tyler Durden's picture





 

The number of unemployed persons per job opening has started to increase again, hitting 5.5 in February, as just disclosed by the BLS' most recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. In February, the total number of job openings declined from 2.85 million to 2.72 million sequentially. The job openings rate was little changed over the month at 2.1 percent. The hires rate (3.1 percent) and the separations rate (3.1 percent) were also little changed in February. Most importantly, there is no improvement in the rate of Hiring, which declined from 4.09 million to 3.96 million. Attached are the main charts of relevance along with BLS commentary.

1. Total number of unemployed persons per job opening.

  • Combining the unemployment level and job openings level produces a ratio between the 2 series that can serve as an indication of how the number of unemployed persons per job opening changes over time.
  • When the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) series began in December 2000, the ratio was just over 1 unemployed person per job opening. The ratio rose during and after the recession that began in March 2001, rising to a maximum of nearly 3 unemployed persons per open job in September 2003. After September, the ratio drifted steadily downward to 1.4 in March 2007.
  • When the recession began in December 2007, there were 1.8 unemployed persons per job opening. The ratio rose to a high of 6.2 unemployed persons per open job, twice the highest ratio seen since the JOLTS series began.
  • In February 2010, there were 5.5 unemployed persons per job opening.

2. Job opening and employment

  • The number of job openings peaked at 4.8 million in March 2007 then began falling. Employment peaked later, at 138.0 million in December 2007.
  • The number of job openings had already declined to 4.4 million when the employment downturn began at the official start of the recession in December 2007.
  • Job openings fell to a low of 2.3 million in July 2009.
  • In February 2010, there were 2.7 million job openings in the United States and employment was 129.6 million.

3. Hires, total separations and employment

  • The number of hires peaked at 5.6 million in January 2005 then remained essentially stable until November 2006 when hires began to decline. The number of hires had declined to 5.0 million by the official start of the recession in December 2007.
  • Hires fell to a low point of 3.9 million in June 2009.
  • Separations also began to decline before the recession, and in December 2007 when the recession began there were 5.0 million separations.
  • Separations have trended downward overall since the start of the recession in December 2007.
  • Employment continued to rise during the period immediately preceding the recession, because hires, although falling, were still greater than separations, which were also falling.
  • Employment peaked at 138.0 million in December 2007, the beginning of the recession.
  • In February 2010, there were 4.0 million hires and 4.0 million separations in the United States.

Quits and layoffs and discharges

  • The number of quits has exceeded the number of layoffs and discharges for most of the JOLTS series since December 2000 when the series began. The number of layoffs and discharges began to rise in February 2006 and the number of quits began to decline in December 2006. By November 2008, layoffs and discharges outnumbered quits.
  • From November 2008 onward, the number of quits continued to fall, reaching a low point of 1.7 million in September 2009. The number of layoffs and discharges rose to a peak of 2.6 million in January 2009.
  • In February 2010, with 1,848,000 quits and 1,822,000 layoffs and discharges, quits again outnumbered layoffs and discharges for the first time since November 2008.

5. Our, and everyone else's, favorite: The Beveridge Curve - Job Openings vs. Unemployment Rate

  • The above graph plots the JOLTS job openings rate against the CPS unemployment rate. This graphical representation of the relationship between the unemployment rate and the vacancy rate is known as the Beveridge Curve, named after the British economist William Henry Beveridge (1879-1963). The economy’s position on the downward sloping Beveridge Curve reflects the state of the business cycle.
  • During an expansion, the unemployment rate is low and the vacancy rate is high. During a contraction, the unemployment rate is high and the vacancy rate is low. The position of the curve is determined by the efficiency of the labor market. For example, a greater mismatch between available jobs and the unemployed in terms of skills or location would cause the curve to shift outward.
  • Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the point on the curve has moved lower and further to the right as the job openings rate declined and the unemployment rate rose.
  • In February 2010, the point on the curve moved slightly down as the job openings rate fell from 2.2 percent to 2.1 percent and the unemployment rate remained the same.
 


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Tue, 04/06/2010 - 11:51 | Link to Comment HarryWanger
HarryWanger's picture

MarketWatch has a different take:

"Job gains exceed losses for second time in two years"

On a seasonally adjusted basis, U.S. employers hired 3.961 million workers in February, while a record-low 3.957 million left their jobs voluntarily or involuntarily, the government said in its monthly job openings and labor turnover report.

With those kind of numbers no wonder the market is green now.

 

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 11:56 | Link to Comment docj
docj's picture

Yeah, totally surprising that MarketWatch would have a more, uh, optimistic take.  Right?

The fact that the market is open removes any wonder that it's green now.

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:40 | Link to Comment zeroman
zeroman's picture

Please...We are living in the twilight zone. Its not reality and its not a cartoon. Its another dimension. Data does not matter. The new normal is for everyone to be insolvent.

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 11:54 | Link to Comment rubearish10
rubearish10's picture

Everything and anything is bullish!

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 01:56 | Link to Comment Karston1234
Karston1234's picture

Keep posting these kind of nice and helpful articles.Thanks
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Tue, 04/06/2010 - 11:57 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Thanks for the great info. One thing jumped out at me. Nearly every other government agency, along with the Fed and many private organizations, show the recession as having already ended sometime in 2009. But the BLS still shows the grey area right up to today and notes at the bottom that it ain't over until the fat lady (NBER) sings.

Very interesting. Is this just BLS saying we haven't completely collapsed under the political pressure and distortions, other than our char-broiled economic numbers? I'm sure they have standards but doesn't anyone else? Or is that a silly question?

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:02 | Link to Comment WineSorbet
WineSorbet's picture

I have no idea why everyone at ZH worries so much...You do know, "There's an APP/PILL/PRINTING PRESS for that!"

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:03 | Link to Comment Jason T
Jason T's picture

Factor in the underemployed and discouraged workers, and it's like 1 job opening in 10.    

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:07 | Link to Comment Cookie
Cookie's picture

Green shoots, green shoots!!

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:13 | Link to Comment Popo
Popo's picture

And consider this:  Consumer spending is artificially high right now, which is keeping a far larger wave of layoffs at bay.   For every 1 house in foreclosure in the USA, there are 5.6 in strategic default.   That's almost 6x the number of current foreclosures which *should* be foreclosing.

 

Those strategic defaulters are currently spending and consuming as if they have their mortgages paid off, and it's keeping the image of the American consumer alive -- and that "false" consumption is what staves off the great wave of layoffs which is coming.  

 

Next-up, we've got tax return season, which will provide the expected boost to consumer spending... and then... and then we've got the long slow bleed out of the consumer. You can extend and pretend only so long.  The deflationary collapse is still on the horizon... and getting closer every day.

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:13 | Link to Comment Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Interesting theories.

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:16 | Link to Comment Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

And yet the regional banks (and the big 4 in particular - JPM, C, BAC, WFC) continue to trade like their in the best shape they've ever been.  Everybody is ignoring the underwater first and second mortgages, taking all accounting ficions, all mark-to-imagination valuation at face value.  It appears that as long as there's free money from the FED, there'll be no end to this.

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:42 | Link to Comment Popo
Popo's picture

Except for (supposedly) the free money is now done. $1.7 Trillion is (supposedly) all there is in the basket.

Granted, the basket actually has no bottom... but if you believe that the Fed is done stimulating, then we are at an interesting crossroads...

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:12 | Link to Comment Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Green shoot!

Leo!  Leo!   Anybody?  Bueller?

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 12:54 | Link to Comment Dr Hackenbush
Dr Hackenbush's picture

I took a job selling insurance - so please take me off your list!

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 13:01 | Link to Comment laughing_swordfish
laughing_swordfish's picture

We've got the Great Recession -

When do we see The Great Liquidation?

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 13:13 | Link to Comment Gimp
Gimp's picture

Bank stocks are on fire as usual. What f**king world are they in because I want entry.

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 14:35 | Link to Comment Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

The (not so) funny thing is that all this la la land BS is actually killing the "recovery" by causing gasoline prices to rise to the point where employers will cut costs by laying off more people and consumers will cut back on other purchases to pay for $4/gal gas again.

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 15:17 | Link to Comment SofaPapa
SofaPapa's picture

Boy wouldn't the Treserve love to figure out how to have a commodity bubble that conveniently left oil at $70/barrel.  But no, oil rides up with the rest of them.  And because gas prices are the unsung trigger of the 2008 mess, I wouldn't be surprised to see them play that role again.  The repetitiveness of the way we are destroying ourselves is getting dull.  We should figure out new ways to find the cliff.

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 20:23 | Link to Comment MaxPower
MaxPower's picture

Agreed; repetitiveness is dulling:

"What experience and history teach is this: that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it."

-Hegel

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Sat, 02/19/2011 - 03:39 | Link to Comment shawnlee
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Wed, 02/23/2011 - 01:18 | Link to Comment shawnlee
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Thanks for the great info. One thing jumped out at me. Nearly every other government agency, along with the Fed and many private organizations, show the recession as having already ended sometime in 2009. But the BLS still shows the grey area right up to today and notes at the bottom that it ain't over until the fat lady (NBER) sings.

Very interesting.
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Sun, 03/20/2011 - 15:31 | Link to Comment loopslike
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It is very bad that unemployment is increasing day by day. We should take necessary steps to eradicate this problem. One theory may be applicable. It is known as expansion theory. You can business of it and get success as early possible. Yahoo!! loops@ laser hair removal

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 01:02 | Link to Comment shawnlee
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Thanks for the great info. One thing jumped out at me. Nearly every other government agency, along with the Fed and many private organizations, show the recession as having already ended sometime in 2009. But the BLS still shows the grey area right up to today and notes at the bottom that it ain't over until the fat lady (NBER) sings.

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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 01:08 | Link to Comment shawnlee
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It is very bad that unemployment is increasing day by day. We should take necessary steps to eradicate this problem. One theory may be applicable. It is known as expansion theory. You can business of it and get success as early possible. Yahoo!! loops@ payday loans - student loans - real estate agents - mortgage rates - home mortgage - bad credit loans

Wed, 04/20/2011 - 05:14 | Link to Comment shawnlee
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It is very bad that unemployment is increasing day by day. We should take necessary steps to eradicate this problem. One theory may be applicable. It is known as expansion theory. You can business of it and get success as early possible. Yahoo!! loops@ccnp training \ ccnp security training \ ccnp voice training \ ccnp wireless training \ ccsp training \ cisco training \ cissp training \ citrix training \ comptia training \ crm training \ cwna training \ test king

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 06:59 | Link to Comment george22
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Laws do not apply to the elite or the rulers. Whether it be Tedd Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne or Congress passing a tax law they call health care and then not having to abide by it - ever. i agree,Laws do not apply to the elite or the rulers. Whether it be Tedd Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne or Congress passing a tax law they call health care and then not having to abide by it - ever. i agree,
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Sun, 05/22/2011 - 23:48 | Link to Comment kummar
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Tue, 06/14/2011 - 03:01 | Link to Comment kummar
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Wed, 06/15/2011 - 06:50 | Link to Comment messlia
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nice report about unemployed persons and this is reality. it is not going on in one country but overall same situation. i think world super power must resolve this issue.

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Sun, 06/26/2011 - 00:56 | Link to Comment ross88online
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