Digging Deeper into Job Market Data – The JOLTS Rate

May 12, 2009 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Last month we saw the significant differences in the unemployment rate across education levels where the jobless rate of college educated professionals was half the national average.  Now, a new article from BusinessWeek shines a light on the large number of job opening that are going unfilled each month.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS (Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey) states that 3 million jobs, or 2.2% of all jobs in the U.S.,  are open and unfilled.

The JOLTS rate has decreased from 3% a year ago, but the drop is relatively small compared to the rise of the unemployment rate from 4.8% to 8.1% during that same time.  Digging deeper into the job openings rate, the areas with more openings that the national average are  Education & Health Services at 3.2%, and Professional & Business Services is at 2.7%. Here s the graphic from BusinessWeek:

Business Week - JOLTS

While companies like IBM are going through rounds of layoffs, they are retraining their best and recruiting actively to fill thousands of job openings for analyst positions.

As the article states, the skills companies need to grow are shifting and government needs to recognize these trends and offer the right types of training programs.

In the short term, companies recruiting people with tomorrow’s specialist skills have to focus on the passive job seeker.  The importance of attracting and building relationships with those people with the right skills currently filling these roles in competitive organizations has never been greater.  Even if the job reqs are not there yet, the identification and relationship building in social media should start now.  It is likely that competition, and salaries, for these will only escalate as the economy improves.


Entry filed under: Passive job seekers, Statistics.

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