Job Openings vs. Job Seekers

Alexia Fernández Campbell points out today that there are more job openings than there are unemployed to take them, something that’s been true for the past year and a half. Just to provide a slightly different perspective, however, here’s a chart that shows job openings vs. a broader measure of unemployment:

The orange line is the U6 unemployment level, which includes those who are “marginally attached” to the labor force as well as those who are working part-time for economic reasons. There are still more of these folks out there than there are job openings for them.

Part of the U6 pool encompasses the least skilled workers, who employers will be loath to hire even if they’re desperate. Another part of the pool, however, are people who are on the fence about wanting a job and who can be lured into the labor force with higher pay. In other words, if employers are willing to pay more there’s still some headroom for the economy to grow.

That said, there’s no question that both trendlines started to flatten out a couple of years ago. Employers aren’t generating new job openings and the U6 crowd is no longer being drawn back into the labor force in large numbers. This suggests that employers aren’t especially bullish about future demand for their products continuing to increase.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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