Employer Behavior Is Still Weak

by: Hale Stewart

The following includes the latest JOLTs survey:

Click to enlarge

The red line shows total employer hires. There are few important points about this data. First, it really hasn't increased that much over the duration of this recovery. It fell to 3.6 million at the very end of the recession, while rising to 4.4 million in the latest report. Second, note the level has been stagnant for a little over a year -- not a good development. And most importantly, the current level is the lowest level seen in the last expansion, which was itself called a jobless recovery.

The good news on the chart is that openings continue to increase. But the current level is still at low levels relative to the previous expansions.

Short version: Employers are just not in a hiring mood right now.