The recession may be ending, but the job market is still suffering, according to a government report released Tuesday.
15.7 million people are out of work. The nation’s unemployment rate rose above 10% for the first time since 1983 in October. And with fewer openings available, prospects for the unemployed are looking grim.
Job seekers now outnumber openings by more than six to one, the greatest discrepancy since the labor department began tracking job openings.
There were fewer than 2.5 million job openings in September, down 35% from a year ago, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The only bright spot is that the number of job openings rose slightly to 2.48 million in September from 2.42 million in August.
For now, employers are still hesitant to add workers. The number of new hires remains near an all-time low, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The survey showed that employers across the board hired just over 4 million workers during the month, down slightly from the previous period.
According to the report, most of the hiring in recent months has come from the trade, transportation and utilities industries.
Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a research group based in Washington, credits the uptick in hiring to the cyclical nature of those industries, which also experienced enormous job losses earlier in the year.
Also faring relatively well was the professional and business services sector, which has been aided by a recent increase in the number of temporary workers, according to Shierholz.
The report also showed that layoffs in September were up 89% from a year earlier and the percentage of workers quitting jobs remained low in September indicating that people are still nervous about changing jobs in the current labor market.