The U.S. just hit a 10-year low for number of unemployed per job opening

The number of unemployed persons per job opening fell to 1.13 in June 2017, a 10-year low and significantly lower than the July 2009 peak of 6.6. In other words, we are close to having a job opening for every person that is unemployed. In the Midwest, the number of unemployed per job opening has now dropped to less than one, the lowest of any region.

The number of job openings increased to 6.2 million in June 2017, according to new data out yesterday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Combine that with the number of unemployed and you get the number of unemployed people per job opening. Since July 2009, when that figure hit a 10-year-peak, this statistic has from a high of 6.65 to 1.13.

In the Midwest, the number of unemployed per job opening has now dropped to less than one. That is, there are more job openings than there are unemployed people. The Northeast had the highest ratio in June at 1.22 and the South and West tied at 1.17. Although the Midwest now has the lowest ratio, at the peak it had the highest: in August of 2009, there were 8.3 unemployed people for every job opening. Likewise, while the Northeast currently has the highest ratio among the regions, it has also been more stable, reaching a relatively modest high of 5.28 in July 2009.


Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, states included in each region are: Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont; South: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia; Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.