Job Openings at Record Low; 4 People in Need of Every 1 Job Open
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their December report on Job Openings and Labor Turnover which shows more bad news. At the end of December, there were 2.7 million job openings available, which was the lowest since they started reporting these numbers 8 years ago. Job hires are down 19% from a year ago, and the job turnover rate is at 1.5%, the lowest since August 2003. The Bureau of Labor reported that impacts to jobs were across the board: “over the 12 months ending in December, the job openings rate did not rise significantly in any industry or region.” What’s also interesting to note in terms of job openings is that “the rate was essentially unchanged in six industries: natural resources and mining; retail trade; information; finance and
insurance; real estate and rental and leasing; and other services.”
Given the increase in job losses over the past several months, Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, takes an interesting take on the news. She found that in December 2007, when many believe the recession began, for each job opening there were 1.9 job seekers. So in other words, for every job available there were two people who needed it. With these new numbers, however, that number increases to 4.1. So now, for every job opening, 4 people are in need. Given we’re seeing more and more job losses every day in the news this month, that number seems to be getting even higher.
The catch, however, is that the type of job available could be anything– from a barista to a Vice president of a company. It will be interesting to see how many people start looking outside of their previous professions. And who knows? Perhaps they’ll land doing something they love even more than what they had before.