Recession is lifting - competition for jobs isn't

While most economists believe the recession is over and recovery has begun, unemployment rates remain alarmingly high. As a result, the number of U.S. job seekers competing for a single opening has reached the highest point since the recession began.

“There are about 6.3 unemployed workers competing, on average, for each job
opening, a Labor Department report shows. That's the most since the department
began tracking job openings nine years ago, and up from only 1.7 workers when
the recession began in December 2007.” (

The msnbc article states that the employment crisis will most likely get worse as companies remain sluggish to hire. In fact, many economists expect a “jobless recovery,” which will lead to added pressure on President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats to stimulate job creation.

"Fewer people are facing job loss," said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at Economic Policy Institute in Washington, "but once you have lost your job, you are in serious trouble.”

Shierholz says the economy faces a "jobs gap" of almost 10 million — the 7.2 million jobs lost plus the roughly 125,000 per month that would have been needed since the recession began just to keep up with population growth.

To close that gap and get back to pre-recession levels in two years would require more than 500,000 new jobs per month, a pace of job creation that hasn't been seen since 1950-51, Shierholz adds.

What about your business? How much of your workforce did you have to cut during the recessionary downturn? And are you feeling enough of an economic boost to start replenishing those positions – or even adding new positions? Or are you sitting tight and not hiring until the recovery is more robust?

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