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Unemployed Job Seekers per Opening (JOLTS data)

Northeast Region* and United States
February 2014 - February 2015

Image of a graph showing the Northeast region and united states unemployment job seekers per opening per month.
Data Highlights: February 2015 (seasonally adjusted)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), in February 2015 there were 840,000 job openings in the Northeast region, which includes New York State. This was up 2.8% from January 2015’s level of 817,000. (Note: JOLTS data are available nationally and regionally, but not at the state level.) At the same time, the number of unemployed in the Northeast region increased by 0.2%, from 1.58 million in January 2015 to 1.59 million in February 2015.

The ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings is a useful labor market indicator. It is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed workers by the number of job openings. In February 2015, there were 1.9 job seekers per job opening in the Northeast region, unchanged from January 2015’s level. The region’s ratio stood at 2.7 in February 2014.

Nationally, the number of job openings increased by 3.4% and the number of unemployed decreased by 3.1% between January 2015 and February 2015. As a result, the ratio in the U.S. decreased from 1.8 to 1.7% over this period. In February 2014, the U.S. ratio was 2.5.

At the beginning of the last national recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed job seekers per job opening stood at 2.0 in the Northeast and 1.8 in the nation. By June 2009 -- the official end of the U.S. recession -- the ratio was 4.4 in the Northeast region and 6.2 in the nation as a whole.

Historical Unemployed Job Seekers per Opening data, Northeast region and U.S.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) program produces data on job openings, hires, and separations:

Unemployment data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program:

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