This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released September 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 summer 2009 to around 3 in September 2012. However, these rates are still above pre-recession levels, which were closer to 2 candidates per opening.
Midwest hiring activity decreased to 84% of the pre-recession level in September, from 100% in August and its highest level since the beginning of the recession. US hiring activity also decreased, falling from 89% of the pre-recession level in August to 84% in September.
The full press release and data can be found on the BLS website.