Between July 2008 and June 2009, employers made a stunning 51.8 million hires, the Labor Department reports today. Of course, there were 57.1 million separations (via layoffs, quitting, and so forth) over the same period.
In its monthly JOLTS report--Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary--the Labor Department reports there were 2.6 million job openings on the last business day of June. That's a preliminary figure, but it's very slightly higher than both April and May. Job openings were falling through April, so this may indicate that they bottomed out that month and we'll now continue to see the volume of openings grow, just as the pace of job cutting is slowing.
The volume of openings are, however, a particularly ugly reflection of the current state of the job market. They continue to hover around this 2.5 million-to-2.6 million level, which is the lowest since the data series began in 2000. Of course, at no time since then were job openings as crucial as they are now, with 14.5 million unemployed workers looking for work. There were nearly 6 active job seekers for every opening in June. Just three years ago, there were 1.5 active job seekers for every opening.
Here are some highlights from the report: