Hiring In The US Remains Far Below Pre-Recession Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

While the headline job openings print in today's JOLTS report was better than expected at 4,455K, well above the 4,050K, and up from last month's revised 4166K, this particular data point, in the New Normal in which not even the Fed believes the unemployment rate, is largely irrelevant due to the increasingly bifurcated nature of the labor market in which there is a small subset of upwardly mobile and in demand workers, and then there are all those who are desperate to get a job, any job, and who have been out of the labor pool for so long they are no longer hireable for anything but the least skilled jobs.

More importantly, when one looks at the other end of the equation, separations, these were barely changed at 4,496K, virtually the same at 4,491K in March, driven in equal terms by voluntary quits (up 12K to 2,473K), or below levels seen in February, and involuntary terminations (rising 13K to 1,651) which are the highest they have been since January.

But most important was how these so-called job openings translate into new jobs, via the actual hiring process. And it is sadly here that things continue to make little sense.

As the chart below shows, while the US may have, somehow, recouped all of its post-recession job losses as was widely trumpeted everywhere on Friday, it sure didn't achieve this courtesy of a vibrant hiring labor market. In fact, as the chart below show, while the US may have recover its annualized job change number, per the non-farm payrolls survey, of just about 2.4 million, or about 200K per month, the pace of US hiring is still just about half of where it should be based on the pre-recession trends.

What this means is two-fold:

  • i) that initial claims print that everyone focuses on as a snapshot indication of the labor market is meaningless, since people being laid off at a time when hiring is still well off traditional levels is an arbitrary construct. Until the US hiring pace rises to at least 5.5 million, all initial unemployment claims are merely a placeholder that is very much irrelevant in the New Normal economy.
  • ii) since hiring is still well-off where it should be, all hopes for a broad increase in wages will continue to be dashed until at least 2018, when the two lines shown above should finally interested all else equal. The simple reason: there is still far too much slack in the labor force, which also continues to make a mockery of the Beveridge Curve as can be seen on page 4 of the linked pdf. The irony here is that at this pace the job openings pace will soon surpass all recent highs, while the unemployment rate, as meaningless as it is, will remain about 1.5% higher than where it should be. Thank the central-planners.

Most importantly, for all the propaganda and rhetoric about the US economy finally returning to normal when it comes to jobs, it may actually be true... as long as one doesn't hope to actually get hired.

Source: JOLTS

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The worst trader's picture

There is no recovery,only the potus and friends robbing us blind.

oklaboy's picture

well this autta send stocks thru the roof...

yogibear's picture

We don't need jobs anymore, just play stocks. Withe the Federal Reserve printing 10's of billions per month just BTFD.

The Federal Reserve's economic model is Zimbabwe or bust.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It appears they will achieve both Zimbabwe and bust.

AmericasCicero's picture

" all hopes for a broad increase in wages will continue to be dashed until at least 2018"


If it doesn't implode again before then

maskone909's picture

i was at the scrap yard yesterday getting cash for some old junk i had laying around.  i realized that we are being gutted from the inside out.  everyday we have folks driving around the neighborhood in search of junk metal.  they load their trucks up like something out of a movie, almost to the point that it tips over, take it to the scrap yard and get pennies on the dollar.  banks have ruined the economy.  commodities are being collected and sold to bric nations. therre is a cash for gold stor on every corner.  they are keeping this ponzi going just long enuff to raid everything of value.  once they have our land and resources, we will be left here holding our dicks pissing in the wind. 

yogibear's picture

"  i realized that we are being gutted from the inside out. "

After WWII the rest of the world realized the US held all the wealth and the power. It's been a slow process of taking it back and then some. Next step is to make the US powerless. It's already dismantled it's space program and must beg countries like Russia to pay for a ride into space.

Obama is turning the US into a bankrupt Chicago.

maskone909's picture

thats so weak, man.  we cant even manufacture something as simple as rocket fuel!  this truely is the twilight zone. 

what's that smell's picture

economic shock therapy---privatization, austerity, deregulation---always yields the same results: squalor for the masses and concentration of wealth at the pinnacle (why is it those biblical creatures whom the pharaoh wanted to destroy always push the "pyramid scheme" so hard? (why the flipp'n jesus did madoff confess anyway)).

maybe if i quote ayn rand, milton friedman, and alan greenspan i can get a job sucking David Tepper's ass.

whoops! zhedge is already there.

Dr. Engali's picture

I think it's funny when I see the propaganda about the great  jobs recovery get hammered into our brains, but every once in a while they will let out a story talking about the weak job market...or asking questions like ...."why aren't businesses hiring?".

Take this story from Yahoo for example:

Americans will buy anything, but why not homes?



Yet they keep telling us how strong housing is. Which one is it?

Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Obamacare, NSA, & Compliance Dept's will mop up any excess!

NOZZLE's picture

Every month 165,000 new people enter the labor force, OlympDick has been pwesident for 66 months, let me know when we add 10,890,000 additional jobs.  

Yep, obama, the affirmative action clown president turns in another performance that you would exepct from an affirmative action clown.

Don't strain yourself and ovulate while you are vigorously hoisting those girly weights. 


Make it a 1,000,000 views


Ward no. 6's picture

a local newpaper addressed that ppl r underemployed or don 't get paid very well

ppl who r on foodstamps have doubled in the last 10 years

i was surprised to read this as most of the time the local papers here r commenting how great the economy is doing...

finally some truth about what is really going on....


Jack Burton's picture

Cleaners for Target Stores are working on creating union membership. It is still up in the air, but the workers for contractors to Target are pressing for organization of workers. Target is caving in, but they hire cleaners from contract firms. When I was a student, I worked nights as a contract cleaner to help fund my education. So I know of what I speak. The GI bill plus 6 hour nigh shifts as a clearner at John Deer headquarters for a contract firm put me through school debt free.

The cleaners earn around $8.50 and are scheduled to work without regular days off of a known work schedule. They often work 7 days a week if others get sick or call in.

When I cleaned, many years ago. I made $3.50 an hour. But, adjusted for inflation and carried forward to today, that wage would be around $14.00 an hour, just as a close guess. So I can only assume that cheap immigrant labor has driven wages down by nearly 50% or more from when I worked. Remember, ADJUSTED for INFLATION!

telefunken's picture

Hillary was dead broke don't cha know...

"Since the end of the Recession"-whenever they say that I want to puch a clown-it ended/ really?