The Firing Crisis is Over. The Hiring Crisis is Not.

There are plenty of reasons to be more optimistic about the job picture than we were a month ago. The economy only lost 11,000 jobs in November, by far the best figures since 2007. Service jobs are up. Temp work is up, which often presages permanent job growth. But here's one thing that's not turning up: Hiring.

From, on the BLS numbers for October:

For now, employers are still hesitant to add workers. The number of new hires remains near its low since the report began being produced nine years ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The survey showed that employers across the board hired fewer than 4 million workers during the month, down slightly from the month earlier.

Here's the graph of the hiring rate from the BLS:
This is still by far the worst hiring climate since the BLS started keeping track of the hiring rate. One of the obvious reasons for this sluggishness in job openings is the unemployment rate. High unemployment, or under-employment, means millions of Americans who used to be avid consumers are now living off jobless benefits. Lower demand means thinner profits, which discourages employers to take a risk on hiring.