Press Releases | Jobs and Unemployment

News from EPI 4.8 unemployed workers for every job opening in July

For Immediate Release: Wednesday. September 8, 2010
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July report from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), showing that job openings increased by 178,000 in July, though downward revisions to earlier data reveal that there were 73,000 fewer jobs openings in June than previously reported. 

The total number of job openings in July was 3.0 million, while from the Current Population Survey we know that the total number of unemployed workers was 14.6 million.  This means that the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings was 4.8-to-one, an improvement from the revised June ratio of 5.1-to-one.  Importantly, this ratio does not measure the number of applicants for each job.  There may be throngs of applicants for every job posting, since job seekers apply for multiple jobs.  The 4.8-to-1 ratio means that, for example, that for every 48 unemployed workers, there are only 10 jobs available.

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