Job Openings At Record Low: 50 Percent Fewer Than 2007

Some stark news was buried in the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, which should come as a sobering reminder for Americans currently looking for a job.

Since the job market's peak in June 2007, there are approximately 50 percent fewer job openings for the 15.3 million U.S. citizens who are officially unemployed.

In June of 2007, there were 4.7 million job openings in the United States. In November 2009 that number had fallen to 2.4 million, reports the BLS.

The job openings rate, which reflects the number of job openings as a percentage of total employment, has been steady at 1.8 or 1.9 percent since last March. But, as the AP reports, the larger picture is actually much worse:

"There were nearly 6.4 unemployed workers, on average, for each available job at the end of November, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday. That's up from 6.1 in October and a record high.

There were 1.7 jobless people for each opening in December 2007, when the recession began.

Job openings fell sharply to 2.42 million in November from 2.57 million in October, according to the department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey.

In November, the construction, leisure and hospitality, arts and entertainment and food services and accommodations industries led the way with the top hiring rates -- the number of hires as a percentage of total employment. Government jobs fared the worst, with hiring rates of just 1.3 percent.

Though the most recent national unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent, there may be good reason to believe the government's upcoming revisions to the figures will reflect an even darker employment picture. Last month, U.S. employers eliminated 85,000 jobs, per the BLS's monthly report, but analysts expected a loss of just 8,000 jobs nationally.

Here's Zero Hedge's analysis of some of the job data minutiae:

In November the hires-fires differential was for a job loss of -164,000, which differs materially from the gain of +4,000 called for in the Current Employment Statistics survey. Look for more downward revision to November payroll data.

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