The number of people claiming unemployment benefits for the first time jumped again last week, to 667,000, with the number of people receiving unemployment for more than one week hitting 5.1 million—the highest percentage of the workforce doing so since July 1983. If you’re tired of hearing those figures go up week after week, you might be interested in looking at a different number, one that is actually going down.
I’m talking about BLS data on job openings. I was chatting with Yale economist Giuseppe Moscarini this morning and he pointed out that at 2.7 million, the number of open jobs is the lowest it’s been since the BLS started tracking the figure in 2000. Here’s a chart (job openings are in thousands):
That might not make you feel much better, but maybe it at least makes you feel bad in a different way for a while?