Chart of the Day: Still Not Enough Jobs

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This Economic Policy Institute (EPI) chart puts a damper on all the good cheer about the economy: according to the new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of new job openings plummeted by 63,000 last November, while some 13.3 million people remained without work. That gave us a ratio of jobless people to job openings of 4.2-to-1, a slight uptick from October’s 4.3-to-1:

Here’s EPI’s Heidi Shierholz:

While the job-seekers ratio has slowly been improving since it peaked at 6.9-to-1 in the summer of 2009, today’s data release marks two years and 11 months—152 weeks—that the ratio has been above 4-to-1. A job-seekers ratio of more than 4-to-1 means that there are no jobs for more than three out of four unemployed workers, no matter what job seekers do.

The upshot: although things are certainly getting better, the economy simply hasn’t picked up enough steam to accomodate the number of people still searching for work.

So the next time someone claims that laziness, drug abuse, or a lack of education are at the root of the economy’s ills, show them this chart!

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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