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Unemployed Job Seekers per Opening (JOLTS data)

Northeast Region* and United States
December 2013 - December 2014

Image of a graph showing the Northeast region and united states unemployment job seekers per opening per month.
Data Highlights: December 2014 (seasonally adjusted)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), in December 2014 there were 872,000 job openings in the Northeast region, which includes New York State. This was up 12.7% from November 2014’s level of 774,000. (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 decreased by 2.9%, from 1.63 million in November 2014 to 1.58 million in December 2014.

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 December 2014, there were 2.1 job seekers per job opening in the Northeast region, down from November 2014’s level of 1.8. The region’s ratio stood at 2.8 in December 2013.

Nationally, the number of job openings increased by 3.7% and the number of unemployed decreased by 4.2% between November 2014 and December 2014. As a result, the ratio in the U.S. decreased from 1.9 to 1.7 over this period. In December 2013, the U.S. ratio was 2.7.

At the beginning of the last national recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed job seekers per job opening stood at 1.9 in the Northeast and 1.8 in the nation. By June 2009 -- the official end of the U.S. recession -- the ratio was 4.3 in the Northeast region and 6.2 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: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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