Tuesday, March 10, 2009

7.5 unemployed & underemployed people for every 1 available job

According to Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 4 unemployed people for every 1 job opening.

As of the end of January there were only 3 million job openings in the United States, while in February 2009 there were 12.5 million Americans unemployed and given that the U6 unemployment rate (which includes people who are working part-time, but want to work full-time was at 14.8% in February vs. the 8.2% headline unemployment rate, means that (roughly speaking) there are 7.5 (unemployed/underemployed) people looking for work for every 1 job opening.

But that is even better than what I expect is actually the case for 3 reasons
  1. There are significant amounts of people with jobs that may be looking to switch jobs to a more secure company.
  2. The "3 million job openings" data is for January, while the unemployment rate is February--Odds are this figure got lower in February & March.
  3. Even if a company has a job opening, they may be acting very slowly to fill it...
So in my opinion, instead of 7.5 job seekers for every 1 job opening, there likely is really closer 15 - 20 people looking for every single job opening.

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