A Few More Chairs for When the Music Stops

February 7th, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Here’s a picture out today from the BLS on the number of unemployed persons per job opening.  Used to be seven; now it’s around four.  If you think of the job search as musical chairs, there are a few more chairs out on the floor for when the music stops.* 

But still not enough–as you can see, it was one-for-one back in late 2000–now there was a tight labor market…

Source: BLS JOLTS Survey

*It was my old friend and former EPI colleague Jeff Wenger whom I first heard make this analogy with these data…Jeff, you out there somewhere?

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2 comments in reply to "A Few More Chairs for When the Music Stops"

  1. Tom says:

    If you add back in the people who have dropped out of the labor force, I’ll bet it is still at least six, probably close to seven.


  2. perplexed says:

    -”If you think of the job search as musical chairs, there are a few more chairs out on the floor for when the music stops.”

    I remember playing this game in kinder-garden. Funny, they never mentioned that we live in a country where, if you didn’t get a chair, you could be legally locked out of the game and ultimately left out in the cold to freeze or starve. After watching what some of the unemployed are going through I’m beginning to understand why that one big kid kept throwing girls out of their chairs and taking them. We all thought it was just a silly game; he must have known the real rules.


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