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News from EPI Two-and-a-half years of a job-seeker’s ratio above 4-to-1

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

Two-and-a-half years of a job-seeker’s ratio above 4-to-1

Today’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings was 4.5-to-1 in June, an improvement from the revised May ratio of 4.6-to-1, but still extremely high.  According to analysis by EPI economist Heidi Shierholz, June marks two-and-a-half years straight that the job seeker’s ratio has been substantially above 4-to-1. A job seeker’s ratio of 4-to-1 means that for three out of four unemployed workers, there simply are no jobs.  Two-and-a-half years—130 weeks—of a job seeker’s ratio above 4-to-1 is why the current extended unemployment insurance benefits, which last a maximum of 99 weeks, remain crucial.

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