More Bad News From The BLS: Job Openings At 2.4 Million, 50% Decline From December 2007

Tyler Durden's picture

Some more bad news out of the BLS today, to follow up on last Friday's disappointing NFP. For November, the amount of job openings dropped back to 2009 lows, at 2.4 million, dropping by 156,000 from October. After hitting a previous low in July, and gradually showing a moderate improvement, the last two months have killed that inflection point.

From the BLS:

There were 2.4 million job openings on the last business day of November 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The job openings rate was little changed over the month at 1.8 percent. The openings rate has held relatively steady since March 2009. The hires rate (3.2 percent) and the separations rate (3.3 percent) were essentially unchanged in November. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector by industry and geographic region.

The chart below shows the job opening (SA) and the hires and separations rates. Notable is that while the seperations rate has moderated, hiring has not picked up.

In November the hires-fires differential was for a job loss of -164,000, which differs materially from the gain of +4,000 called for in the Curreny Employment Statistics survey. Look for more downward revision to November payroll data.

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ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Bernanke's campaign to kill the middle class is having the desired effects.

docj's picture

I'm still of the school that believes Chopper Ben's "campaign" is to continue the enrichment of the bankster cartel and politically connected elites and that the death of the US middle class is just a feature of that campaign, not a bug.

But then again that's perhaps little more than a distinction without a difference.  Eh?

SteveNYC's picture

Even better, the people he is not "killing" or "sacking", he is pushing up their gas prices and cost of living as best he can, stopping them from taking vacation overseas to escape the USSA via currency destruction, and aiding in Timmay's cover up.

I'm not a fan of Ben's........

Shocker's picture

I don't know about you guys, but what concerns me is the number of Companies that are just closing up. Not even doing more layoffs, which are bad, but closing thats it.

aces and eights's picture

Unless we get acquired or taken over, my company will probably close its doors this year. We've already had several rounds of layoffs, the staff has been cut in half in less than a year, and I recently heard they aren't paying their bills. I fully expect a pink slip within a month or two.

deadhead's picture

if you wouldn't mind, how about an idea of company size, industry, geography, etc.


aces and eights's picture

Hi Deadhead. Always enjoy your posts.

If I provide the industry, ZH readers could easily figure out the company. Here's what I'm comfortable sharing:

 - been in business for over ten years

 - was approx 200 employees, now approx 100

 - Southern California

 - sell to both consumers and businesses

faustian bargain's picture

oh my god they're closing disneyland. noooooo

deadhead's picture

thx very much for the info, always helpful to have anecdotal info, particularly like this one i.e.  a larger size small business (never picked up by BLS) and in southern cal, another hit to housing, cali state budget problems, etc.

i hope you avoid the pink slip or something better comes your way.  Good luck!

Anonymous's picture

I've witnessed a couple restaurants open and close in the SAME location in the past year. What are they thinking?

Open a restaurant now? What? I wouldn't compare it to buggy whips but geezzz!

seventree's picture

I have seen this many times. When they open there is usually a puff piece in the local news... "Everybody loves my cooking so I figured what the heck" ... they never say anything about knowing how to run a business. At least they kept the landlords going another year.

Gilgamesh's picture

Can't wait to see numbers after the job openings at the Census and FDIC are filled.  Everything will be forgotten...

Heavy's picture

So when will it be legal for me to go bankrupt on my student loans?  Never..huh...that seems unreasonable under the circumstances.  Well, I guess we'll just have to see who's right.  Ya can't get milk from an angry goat, at least not without a fight.

Anonymous's picture

Hey Heavy,

I read not too long ago about people picking up and leaving the country simply because of this. Honestly, I'm sure there are several hundred thousand people out there whose student loans recently came out of deferment and cannot pay. I'm not talking about choosing not to pay, I'm talking about absolutely have nothing left after living expenses because they're only lucky to get a part-time job working as a barista. That or they're waiting for their "good paying" census work to start.

Anonymous's picture

Huge bubble frothing (and has been frothing) in the student loan / higher education business. Student loans are basically the ultimate NINJA loan. Anytime you get the chance to lend tens of thousands (and possibly hundreds of thousands) of dollars to a teenager without any assets so that they can study english - well, you just have to do it.

Heavy's picture

Hell, I was looking into that before I graduated.  I had an idea this would be bad relatively early on, especialy when compared the average people.  I was going to run off to new zealand and leave the clusterfuck behind preemtively; even studied abroad there for months.  It's an awesome place by the way.  But the problems we're dealing with here would eat them eventually too.  So, running seems to much like ignoring the problem to too great a degree for me to allow it for myself, but if you want to live in the land of hobbits, it is beautiful.  I've graduated with from an unfortunately popular course of study with a graduate degree that can not get me a job as a salesman, temp, teacher, or assistant of any sort, never mind actually doing something related to what I trained for which is right out the window.  IBR (Income based repayment)  lets you stay poor without the need for bankruptcy, and if you're lucky enough to get the right jobs as perscribed under the law involved, have it paid off completely, (unfortunately that's seen as income and can knock you way up the brackets, bringing in a huge one time income tax for the loan forgiveness), but that's only if you're lucky enough to win the job lotto and do so in one of the perscribed labor areas.  My brain hurts from trying to figure out something else I can apply for.

Heroic Couplet's picture

If you just finished a two year or four year degree, you should have been on a Pell Grant, so maybe you can start with fraud and mis-representation.  I sat in front of a young African-American woman during a biotech class.  She and her brother were taking double-majors deliberately, in order to be permanently eligible for Pell grant. Pell grants end as soon as you finish your first four-year degree (in case you have younger siblings).

Get in front of your US Senators and worry them to death until they introduce legislation that favors you and not the banks. I just searched Google on "student loan legislation" and "Wells Fargo" showed up (gosh, what a surprise). The banks have already had their bailout. The banks will never collect on credit card debt they are carrying as Accounts Receivable; they should never collect on students loans, either.  If there are no jobs in the US, there is no need for any banks. If the big banks collapse from the inside, no problem. Bankers can find real jobs, just the same way you can /sarcasm. Credit unions and small community banks are adequate.

Write letters to the editor to your college or university town newspaper as a way to track your progress with your US Senators. Ask to speak in front of every civic and church group you can think of, because parents and students need to be warned about your plight. Keep copies of what you do and keep hassling your US Senators. In a 2010 election year, you can make your hassles their hassles.

AnonymousMonetarist's picture

After the 840,000 benchmark revision only 3 million more until they square with ADP!

What a joke.



Gimp's picture

That site is frightening and tells the real story of what is happening in  the economy...



Anonymous's picture

Every business venture contemplated over the last few years has been replaced with a contingency plan that revolves around a brief exodus from the USA.

Up until about 3 months ago I was going to DEFCON 2. Now the wait for the November elections has soften the stance...barely. Liquidity is my MO. I'll have my ticket in hand anyway.

God knows some of the 2010 elections will end up in courts around the country perhaps bringing the US Govt. to a complete standstill. (If only we could be so lucky!!)

Internet Tough Guy's picture

Those are some scary charts. Get your sleeping space under the bridge before it fills up.

delacroix's picture

unfortunately, not like H1N1, or terrorists, this is something, real to be fearful of. along with foreign rejection, of US bonds.

Anonymous's picture

I have been out of work for more than 9 months (previously making $170k+), and these numbers don't surprise me at all. It just confirms what I've been sensing for the past 2+ months: the number of positions out there is decreasing. After a period of optimism that has allowed me to stay sane, I have very bleak outlook and have never felt more helpless. The political cost to the current administration will be staggering, I believe, but I would like to see the Republicans put forth a plan to change the current trend. Not that it will necessarily determine my voting, but for my sanity and hope that things may be improved.

Bad Lieutenant's picture

I appreciate and respect your plight, but I'm curious what kind of position you held.  It's always been hard for me to understand how people can go from a serious salary like that to zero.

Anonymous's picture

well believe me it happens....i went from
140+k to 15k on unemployment...

Busy-Body's picture

Same here.  Welcome to the "new normal".......

Anonymous's picture

one other comment - i was competing recently
for a 120k job against a guy who was previously
making 225k....what is a guy doing interviewing
for a 120k per year job who was making 225k??

Gimp's picture

Sorry to hear about your job loss, the goal of course is to replace your $170K job with someone making $50K a year. The New American Economy this will help all the other less fortunate around the world make more and thus increase their standard of living at your expense.

Get into a cash business like selling hotdogs from a cart or a diner.

sethstorm's picture

...and that's where both major political parties in the US are complicit.

Democrats: We're doing it out of guilt in seeing their country in bad shape

Republicans: Shorting the US Citizen since 1981.


Mark Beck's picture

Companies must adjust overhead to address reduction in business. However, you can only cut so deep before you can no longer support the business model for your particular industry.

The more high tech you are the less you can ultimately cut and still recover when business increases again. It takes time for some one to become familier with complex products in terms of real productive support. So hiring strategies also include a certain amount of lead time for productivity gains. When things really get bad, management may cut so deep that the only support may come from a call center in India or Mexico. This is when you start to lose what customers you have left.

I keep track of general employment activities on the more high end side around the US to judge how well the economy is recovering. Mostly Financial Analysis (Including Quant stuff), which is closely related to Computer Engineering and systems design and modelling, but also Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

My findings;


US Government, the FDIC is hiring 1000 people in Q1 2010 alone. Washington DC. FRBNY and other reserve banks around the country. They need a lot of people to clean up the mess.

Computer Engineering; US Government or Military Subcontractor. There are a lot of diverse openings if you have the skills.

Electrical Engineering; US Government and Military Subcontractor some Engineering frim work but very little.

Mechanical Engineering; US Government or Military Subcontractor or Engineering Firm with stimulus contracts. Usually, this will start in Feb for ramp up in the spring.

and then we have Health Care who needs a sprinkling of all the above.

My point is that I would put the US Government or Government stimulus as the primary creator of jobs in the US for the skills I mentioned above. This obviously is not recovery, it is a temporary infusion of jobs that is unsustainable. When these programs run down or do not continue to create jobs or motivate employers to add staff, the rate of hiring will decrease substantially.

The lesson here is that government is not efficient in creating sustainable employment which contributes positively to revenue growth and a healthy economy. Ultimately, at some point, government job creation will be a net revenue loss. The money the government spent will never be fully recovered, so it is an unproductive way to spend resources. The effect goes something like this; you give someone a job at $10.00 per hour, but the real cost, due to government waste and inefficiency, is $13.00 per hour. You will never generate a net revenue. It is inefficient, the money would have been better spent by providing loans and investment financing to the private sector. Here at least you have a chance at generating gains.

Mark Beck

Anonymous's picture

i agree with you sort of, but the point is more
basic....a central planner cannot possibly make
decisions of what is wanted by other people - not
even one other than is misallocation
of resources when someone proxys for another....

bill bonner does a great job of stating the issue
simply and clearly....government makes things (and
allocates) which they don't know that other people's all crap shoot when you deprive
people of the ability to make these investment
and consumption decisions themselves....

Tethys's picture

The money the government spent will never be fully recovered, so it is an unproductive way to spend resources.

Depends on your definition of 'unproductive'.  If your goal is to kick the can far enough down the road to keep the pitchforks safely stowed, and in the process 'create' 'jobs' which you can take direct credit for- this may seem very productive indeed.  

Those who fill such 'jobs' would now have a direct interest in you staying in power to keep funding those jobs - rather than electing someone who might try to cut the government job and give that money to the private sector.

Not promising for the survival of capitalism, but somehow I don't think that survival of capitalism is the goal...


Anonymous's picture

Small Business owners are largely forgotten. Thats why I only focus on them. I have experience several members of my family file bankruptcy due to small business failures. I also I suffered through 2 destroyed businesses due to failure however, in my failings I have learned some of the secrets to success. (Who can say they know it all?)
What I like about small business owners is that they are not afraid to take huge risks and lay it all on the line. But, I agree they do need a lot of help with their marketing. I think having them go the social media and email route is not only the least expensive but its also the most effective. Thanks for the stats!

Anonymous's picture

I heard a lot of people boast about Florida online lottery and checked websites for some real winners those became euromillions online. I was amazed to find it's real and a lot of people have really made huge money. I am going to try my hand at it too.

Anonymous's picture

"I am a novice at playing online lottery and have just started a bit of gambling. I have heard a lot about mega millions and Iowa lotteries. Are the large jackpots real? What can I do ensure better chances of winning?