Mar 11, 2014
Think the Job Market Still Stinks? You’re Right
Posted on Sep 10, 2013
You’ve probably never heard of the federal JOLTS report, but as the Economic Policy Institute pointed out recently, it’s a good measure of the strength of the national jobs market. And the news from the feds Tuesday is not good.
The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey released Tuesday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows virtually no change over the summer in what is known as the “hires rate,” the percentage of jobs that reflect people hired for new positions or to replace departing workers. As the EPI reported earlier this summer, the rate of new jobs has been sluggish, at best:
The reason the rate is so low? People are afraid to quit their jobs, and employed people looking for greener pastures are having trouble finding them. So the churn stalls.
The new number for July: 2.3 million quit their jobs, a slight uptick but still well below the pre-recession rates. According to EPI, another section of the JOLTS report reveals a frustrating truth. “In today’s economy, unemployed workers far outnumber job openings in every major sector. … This demonstrates that the main problem in the labor market is a broad-based lack of demand for workers—not, as is often claimed, available workers lacking the skills needed for the sectors with job openings.”
Corporate profits, on the other hand, are at an all-time high, as are the levels of cash that corporations are hoarding in fear of another recession. Of course, if they spent some of that cash putting people back to work … yeah, that’s just crazy talk. Never mind.
—Posted by Scott Martelle
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