Reuters, quoting the Department of Labor’s (DOL) June figures in the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report, is pointing to June’s ratio of unemployed Americans to job openings as being a positive indicator for both the U.S. economy and wage structures. The indicator—job openings (which is a measure of labor demand)—enjoyed a modest climb from 3.907 million in May to 3.936 million a month later.
This ratio of roughly three jobseekers applying for each position, though it may seem a small number, is over half of the seven applicants per opening in 2009, and is the lowest reading since October 2008. With fewer individuals competing for the same or similar positions, it is also likely that the leverage employers enjoyed when competition for jobs was higher will diminish, which could lead to stronger incomes.
More heartening news from another Reuters report is that the layoff figures being recorded are now akin to those before the recession hit in 2007. It is another positive sign for the U.S. economy as well as those jobseekers that are looking for stability in the workforce.
The figures from the DOL of 335,500 claims for Unemployment Insurance are reportedly the lowest since November of 2007. The 7.4% unemployment figure is the lowest it has been since December 2008 and the eleventh consecutive month under 8%.
Low-wage workers, according to the Huffington Post, accounted for a large portion of the gains made in employment, with temps, retail, and restaurant workers making up over half of the jobs that were added in July.
Regarding the newest unemployment numbers, Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, was quoted as saying: “This report is good news, and the economic turnaround over the past four years has been unmistakable. More Americans are finding work, but we can and must do more to pick up the pace of this recovery.”
However modest these gains may seem to some sources, and with an uphill climb still ahead in job creation, KRA Corporation is optimistic that these figures point to a strengthening economy and, as such, a plus for our efforts in workforce development.
With more jobs available and more joining the workforce, KRA will continue to capitalize on these positive employment and economic indicators, and to maximize their impact to the fullest for the benefit of our jobseeker- and employer-customers alike.
As heartening as the news coming from the DOL is, the unfortunate statistic is that the long-term unemployed (those jobless at 6 months or more) number is at a disappointing 4.2 million individuals. But those figures only make KRA Corporation more resolute in its mission of preparing jobseekers for tomorrow’s global economy and supplying employers with a trained and reliable workforce.