Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Job Openings Rise to Two-Year High in October

The BLS reported yesterday that job openings rose to 3,362,000 in October, which was the highest level since August 2008, more than two years ago.  Compared to the cyclical low of 2,338,000 in July of last year, job openings have risen by more than one million and by 44% through October of this year. 

Although the ongoing increase in job openings hasn't translated yet into a lower unemployment rate (see chart above), it's another sign that conditions in the labor market are gradually improving and headed in the right direction. 


At 12/08/2010 9:17 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

how did this relationship behave in other recessions?

is such a long lag typical?

i'm wondering if we are having structural effects this time (poor fit between labor force and demanded jobs, difficulty moving due to underwater mortgages, longer unemployment benefits, etc) that are holding up employment recovery.

alternately, are we still seeing elevated firing rates as well that are offsetting these new job openings?

At 12/08/2010 9:21 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

That series only started in Jan. 2001, so there's not a very long history to check other recessions.

I think there are some strong structural effects that are playing a role here.

At 12/08/2010 9:53 AM, Blogger geoih said...

You're assuming a static employment population. If the net population is increasing, then the job openings will have to continually rise in order for the employment rate to remain steady.

At 12/08/2010 11:34 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, I wish I could remember who said it on CNBC a few months back that something like 300,000 people need to be hired per month for the next five years to bring the unemployment number back down to where it was in 2006...

From the WSJ blog: Food Stamp Use, by State

U.S. total = 42,911,042

Year over Year Change = 16.2%

Percent of Population on Food Stamps = 14%

At 12/08/2010 12:32 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

juandos notes Food Stamp (SNAP) is up to even higher levels this year.

From the link supplied by juandos:

Food Stamp use in North Dakota is up 7.1% this year to a total of 9.5% of state population.

What is the "state" of the economy in North Dakota? Unemployment is at 3.7% which is 6% below national average.

Why is the booming state economy of North Dakota producing more and not less Food Stamp recipients?

At 12/08/2010 12:56 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Why is the booming state economy of North Dakota producing more and not less Food Stamp recipients?"...

Well buddy that was the question in my mind that I couldn't figure out an answer for until my cynicism kicked in and I thought, 'buying votes' was the obvious answer...

To cynical?


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