Job Openings Rose Slightly in July

Although temporary worker firings in July drove up the number of unemployed by a net 175,000 for the month, the number of job openings actually rose by 178,000 as well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This isn't a huge jump, but it's certainly better than the two months of decline in openings during May and June. The jobless still far outweigh the number of job openings, however.

Here's the key chart:

job openings cht1 2010-07.png

For July, those numbers were 3,042,000 job openings, 14,599,000 unemployed, and 16,892,000 more broadly unemployed (including discouraged workers and other persons marginally attached to the labor force). Here's another way to look at it -- the number of unemployed Americans per job opening:

job openings cht2 2010-07.png

The ratio fell to 4.80 in July, down from 5.11 in June.

As noted before, these chart shows pretty clearly that there are far more unemployed Americans than job openings at this time. So it's pretty hard to blame the current labor market problems entirely on a lack of trying to get a job on the part of the unemployed.