4.6 job seekers for every opening is how bad the job market is. This is an historic and unprecedented employment crisis of mammoth proportion that is going to ripple throughout our economy, our communities and our social fabric for years to come, as a short, must-read article in the Wall Street Journal outlines today:
“[I]intense competition for jobs is a key reason why U.S. incomes broadly are under so much pressure. There were never more than three job seekers per opening even during the worst of the last jobless recovery. That figure shot as high as seven during the worst of the recession in 2009. Today, it has yet to recover to anything like the average of two seekers per opening during the expansion of 2004-07.”
What does that really mean and how bad is it really? Bad, historically bad and so bad there is simply no end in sight: “And as Credit Suisse economist Henry Mo points out, even if all U.S. job vacancies were filled overnight, nearly 11 million workers would still be unemployed—and that doesn’t include the nine million working part-time who would prefer full-time work and the 1.2 million who have given up looking altogether. Although the pace of layoffs has slowed, there simply aren’t enough new positions to go around.”
No jobs, no income, no spending, no business expansion = fewer jobs, less income, less spending, less business expansion, and the downward cycle accelerates.