According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), in April 2016 there were 904,000 job openings in the Northeast region, which includes New York State. This was up 0.7% from March’s level of 898,000. (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 1.34 million in March to 1.38 million in April 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 April 2016, there were 1.5 job seekers per job opening in the Northeast region, unchanged from March’s level. The region’s ratio stood at 1.7 in April 2015.
Nationally, the number of job openings increased by 2.1% and the number of unemployed decreased by 0.6% between March and April 2016. As a result, the ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings in the U.S. remained unchanged at 1.4 over this period. In April 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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