The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released October 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 the Midwest, falling from around 6 to 7 candidates per job opening in fall 2009 to around 3 in October 2012. However, these rates are still above pre-recession levels, which were closer to 2 candidates per opening.
Midwest hiring activity increased to 91% of the pre-recession level in October, from 84% in September. US hiring activity also increased, rising from 85% of the pre-recession level in September to 87% in October.
The full press release and data can be found on the BLS website.