“Two less obvious factors predated the recession. The first is the steepness of the rise in job scarcity during the previous recession in 2001, which rivaled that during the deep downturn of the early 1980s. The second is the failure between 2003 and 2007 of jobs per jobseeker to recover from the 2001 recession...Unemployment increased during the 2001 recession, but it subsequently fell almost to its previous low. In contrast, job openings plummeted—much more sharply than unemployment rose—and then failed to recover. In previous recoveries, openings eventually outnumbered job seekers (where a rising blue line crosses a falling green line), but during the last recovery a labor shortage never emerged.” — Brookings’ Scott Winship, in a post you should read.