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Unemployed Job Seekers per Opening

Northeast Region* and United States
May 2017 - May 2018

Image of a graph showing the Northeast region and united states unemployment job seekers per opening per month.
Data Highlights: May 2018 (seasonally adjusted)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), in May 2018 there were 1,075,000 job openings in the Northeast region, which includes New York State. This was down 10.1% from April's level of 1,196,000. (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 1.24 million in April to 1.21 million in May 2018.

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 May 2018, there were 1.1 job seekers per job opening in the Northeast region, up from April's level of 1.0. The region's ratio stood at 1.3 in May 2017.

Nationally, the number of job openings decreased by 3.0% and the number of unemployed decreased by 4.4% between April 2018 and May 2018. As a result, the ratio of unemployed job seekers to job openings in the U.S. was unchanged at 0.9 over this period. In May 2017, the U.S. ratio was 1.2.

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 4.2 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: https://www.bls.gov/jlt/

Unemployment data come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program: https://www.bls.gov/bls/unemployment.htm

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