The U.S. job market is still worse than at any point during the 2001 downturn

June 12, 2013

There's nothing new or surprising about this chart from the Economic Policy Institute's Heidi Sheirholz. It's just a reminder that the U.S. labor market is still in rough shape — despite the considerable improvement in recent years:

Right now, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, there's approximately one job opening for every 3.1 unemployed persons who are looking for work. That ratio of jobs to jobless has improved an enormous amount since 2009. But to put things in perspective, it's still worse than it was at any point during the last downturn, which started in 2001.

Sheirholz also notes that the number of unemployed job-seekers appears to outstrip the number of openings in just about every industry, from construction to retail to education to hospitality. (The gap is smallest in mining, but there are relatively few jobs there, compared with the other sectors.)

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Dylan Matthews · June 12, 2013