Ratio of Job Seekers Remains Extremely Elevated—No Time to Cut Unemployment Benefits

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the ratio of job seekers to job openings remained unchanged in October at 2.9-to-1, which is equal to the worst month of the early 2000s downturn. A ratio of 2.9-to-1 means that for nearly two out of every three job seekers, there are no jobs available, no matter what they do.

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which has provided support to millions of Americans who lost their job through no fault of their own during the Great Recession and its aftermath, should not be allowed to expire on December 28, 2013, as it is set to do. Allowing these benefits to expire would cut a crucial lifeline to millions of unemployed workers and their families at a time when job opportunities remain historically weak.