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Unemployed Job Seekers per Opening (JOLTS data)

Northeast Region* and United States
May 2015 - May 2016

Image of a graph showing the Northeast region and united states unemployment job seekers per opening per month.
Data Highlights: May 2016 (seasonally adjusted)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), in May 2016 there were 938,000 job openings in the Northeast region, which includes New York State. This was up 2.5% from April’s level of 915,000. (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 1.38 million in April to 1.39 million in May 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 May 2016, there were 1.5 job seekers per job opening in the Northeast region, unchanged from April’s level. The region’s ratio stood at 1.7 in May 2015.

Nationally, the number of job openings decreased by 5.9% and the number of unemployed decreased by 6.1% between April and May 2016. As a result, the ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings in the U.S. was unchanged at 1.4 over this period. In May 2015, the U.S. ratio was 1.6.

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.

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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