US economy: nearly 5 workers for every job

Job seekers wait in line to enter the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitmore on July 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan

Things are only getting worse in the U.S. labor market. 

According the the Labor Department, there were 4.7 workers for every job opening in the United States in May. That's no improvement from the previous month, and it's more than twice the ratio that the world's largest economy had prior to the Great Recession.

In other words, it's ugly out there. 

Here's a most depressing thought, courtesy of the New York Times Economix blog:

As Henry Mo, vice president for economics at Credit Suisse, observed in a note to clients on Tuesday, “Even if all job vacancies were filled overnight, almost 11 million workers would still be left unemployed.”

Today's bleak report follows Friday's devastating news that showed the U.S. economy added only 18,000 jobs in June. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, now stands at 9.2 percent.

That's not going to cut it.

Neither is having almost five people fighting for every job opening in the U.S. 

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