Do the math: On the last business day of August, the number of job openings in the U.S. was just under 2.4 million. The number of unemployed people hit 14.9 million that month, then climbed to 15.1 million in September. That means there about six unemployed people for every available job.
And it's been that way for a while. "The job openings rate was little changed in August in all industries and regions," reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary. Flat, flat, flat.
This job market is just not warming up. Hiring fell in the private sector and in the government one. Hiring fell in every region except for the Midwest, where it rose by 45,000. In the West, hiring fell by 175,000. The quits rate, which includes people who voluntarily leave a job for any reason other than retirement or death, fell back to a record low of 1.3 percent — so low as to be meaningless.