According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), in August 2016 there were 938,000 job openings in the Northeast region, which includes New York State. This was down 4.6% from July’s level of 983,000. (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 from 1.40 million in July to 1.41 million in August 2016.
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 August 2016, there were 1.5 job seekers per job opening in the Northeast region, up from July’s level of 1.4. The region’s ratio stood at 1.7 in August 2015.
Nationally, the number of job openings decreased by 6.7% and the number of unemployed increased by 1.0% between July and August 2016. As a result, the ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings in the U.S. increased from 1.3 to 1.4 over this period. In August 2015, the U.S. ratio was 1.5.
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 at 1.9 in the nation. By June 2009, the official end of the U.S. recession, the ratio was 4.3 in the Northeast region and 6.1 in the nation as a whole.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) program produces data on job openings, hires, and separations: http://www.bls.gov/jlt/
Unemployment data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program: http://www.bls.gov/bls/unemployment.htm
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