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Unemployed Job Seekers per Opening (JOLTS data)

Northeast Region* and United States
October 2016 - October 2017

Image of a graph showing the Northeast region and united states unemployment job seekers per opening per month.
Data Highlights: October 2017 (seasonally adjusted)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), in October 2017 there were 983,000 job openings in the Northeast region, which includes New York State. This was down 7.8% from September’s level of 1,066,000. (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 1.30 million in September to 1.29 million in October 2017.

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 October 2017, there were 1.3 job seekers per job opening in the Northeast region, up from September’s level of 1.2. The region’s ratio stood at 1.4 in October 2016.

Nationally, the number of job openings decreased by 2.9% and the number of unemployed decreased by 4.1% between September and October 2017. As a result, the ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings in the U.S. was unchanged at 1.1 over this period. In October 2016, the U.S. ratio was 1.4.

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 come 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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