This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released April 2012 figures from its Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey, which tracks job openings, hires, and separations (quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations including retirement).
As illustrated in the following chart, the seasonally adjusted ratio of unemployed persons per job opening – an indication of labor market activity and competitiveness – has generally improved in the US and Midwest, falling from around 6 and 8 respective candidates competing per job opening in spring 2009 to between 3 and 4 in April 2012. However, the rate is still above pre-recession levels of closer to 2 candidates per opening.
The following chart illustrates hiring activity in the Midwest and US, which, in April 2012, was 88% of the pre-recession level in the Midwest and 84% of the pre-recession level nationally.
The full press release and data can be found on the BLS website.