Saturday, February 19, 2011

Comparing recessions: Job Openings

As an attempt at continuing on this series, this post compares job openings. Previous installment on job losses and layoffs is here.

In terms of levels, the chart shows that indeed, job openings in this recession seem very different from the previous recession. The sectors that appear to be recovering are manufacturing, and finance and insurance. The information and mining/logging sectors were not particularly different than the previous recession but all the other sectors appear to have experienced a shift toward lower levels of job openings.

The two different recessions are broken out below:

Openings this recession trended lower over the period, most likely because of its duration compared to the 2001 recession. In terms of job openings over time they were similar if we only make the comparison over the first 4 months of the recession.

Using rates instead of levels seem to tell a different story, in particular, this recession does not appear that much more severe in terms of a decrease in job opening rates compared to the previous recession.

While, there is no doubt that the job opening rates were lower this recession than in the previous recession (see next two charts), the above indicates that except for leisure and hospitality, and education and health services (a sector that one would have thought would be somewhat indifferent to the recession) the job opening rates are almost back to its pre-recession rates.

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