According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), in September 2015 there were 884,000 job openings in the Northeast region, which includes New York State. This was up 5.6% from August 2015’s level of 837,000. (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 from 1.47 million in August 2015 to 1.44 million in September 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 September 2015, there were 1.6 job seekers per job opening in the Northeast region, down from 1.8 in August 2015. The region’s ratio stood at 2.1 in September 2014.
Nationally, the number of job openings increased by 2.8% and the number of unemployed decreased by 1.4% in August-September 2015. As a result, the ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings in the U.S. decreased from 1.5 to 1.4 over this period. In September 2014, the U.S. ratio was 2.0.
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, which is 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.
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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