Career Builder Openings Continue to Alarmingly Shrink, No Improvement in Big States

With the U.S. unemployment rate now at the 25 year high of 9.4%, some in the media have suggested it is good news that the rate of job loss is slowing.  While there may be a glitter of hope in the lower number of job loss filings, the fact is job openings must improve in order to start absorbing the unemployed.  The question is when will corporations start hiring more and where.  The U.S. unemployment rate will not improve until job openings increase.

We have reported that job openings fell dramatically from January 2009 to March 14, 2009(See:  Job Openings Drop Nationwide in first 45 Days of Obama).  Job openings continued to drop but at a slower rate.

Best and Worst States analysis shows that job openings on careerbuilder.com have dropped 10.6% from Jan 29 to May 31 2009. Job openings less than 30 days old decreased to 210,048 as of May 31, 2009 from 235,059 as of January 29, 2009.  More importantly, job openings dropped further since March 14, 2009 when we last reported.  Job losses dropped 1.4% from 213,077 to 210,048.  One might cheer at only a 1.4% loss in 45 days but if your portfolio declined about 1% per month you should consider this alarming.  We are still losing job openings at the alarming rate of 1%  per month.  This is not what recoveries are built upon.

More importantly, all 10 of the biggest states have seen job opening drops since January.  These 10 states represented 54% of all the open jobs on Career Builder in May.  These states have seen a drop in openings of 12.25% since January, larger than the country average.  Illinois was the Worst State for Job Openings with a decline of 20.4%.  California at 16.6% decline was the second Worst State for Job Openings. New York at minus 14.3%, New Jersey at minus 13.2% and Pennsylvania at minus 10.6% job opening loss round out the 5 Worst States for Job Openings.

8 States showed improvement in job openings since January.  These states showed small job increases.  The Best State for Job Opening Improvement was South Carolina.  Its job openings increased by only 237 or 7.6%.  Kentucky at 134 and Indiana at 133 were the only other states that saw job openings improve by greater than 100.

Here is the listing of Job Openings by State for May 31,2009 as compared to Jan 31, 2009.

May-31-09 29-Jan-09 %Since 1-29
1 California 21565 25855 -4290 -16.6%
2 Texas 17988 20051 -2063 -10.3%
3 Florida 14119 15174 -1055 -7.0%
4 New York 11189 13057 -1868 -14.3%
5 Illinois 10912 13702 -2790 -20.4%
6 Pennsylvania 9964 11141 -1177 -10.6%
7 New Jersey 7492 8628 -1136 -13.2%
8 Ohio 7554 8276 -722 -8.7%
9 Virginia 6822 7186 -364 -5.1%
10 North Carolina 6359 6803 -444 -6.5%
11 Maryland 5872 6552 -680 -10.4%
12 Georgia 5500 5992 -492 -8.2%
13 Arizona 5237 5992 -755 -12.6%
14 Massachusetts 4810 6168 -1358 -22.0%
15 Michigan 4906 5541 -635 -11.5%
16 Washington 4354 4914 -560 -11.4%
17 Indiana 4864 4731 133 2.8%
18 Missouri 4451 4458 -7 -0.2%
19 Colorado 3735 4214 -479 -11.4%
20 Tennessee 4321 4413 -92 -2.1%
21 Connecticut 3633 4531 -898 -19.8%
22 Wisconsin 3760 4314 -554 -12.8%
23 Minnesota 3257 4193 -936 -22.3%
24 South Carolina 3373 3136 237 7.6%
25 Kansas 3232 3236 -4 -0.1%
26 Louisiana 3082 3494 -412 -11.8%
27 Kentucky 2897 2763 134 4.8%
28 Iowa 2322 2499 -177 -7.1%
29 Alabama 2551 2567 -16 -0.6%
30 Oklahoma 2083 2269 -186 -8.2%
31 Nevada 1732 1865 -133 -7.1%
32 Oregon 1667 1832 -165 -9.0%
33 Mississippi 1535 1548 -13 -0.8%
34 New Mexico 1369 1423 -54 -3.8%
35 Utah 1123 1236 -113 -9.1%
36 Arkansas 1347 1414 -67 -4.7%
37 Nebraska 1016 1230 -214 -17.4%
38 Delaware 855 1057 -202 -19.1%
39 Alaska 826 805 21 2.6%
40 Hawaii 761 865 -104 -12.0%
41 West Virginia 757 856 -99 -11.6%
42 New Hampshir 592 694 -102 -14.7%
43 Rhode Island 591 707 -116 -16.4%
44 South Dakota 673 585 88 15.0%
45 Idaho 703 665 38 5.7%
46 Vermont 562 659 -97 -14.7%
47 North Dakota 466 438 28 6.4%
48 Maine 459 449 10 2.2%
49 Montana 455 508 -53 -10.4%
50 Wyoming 355 373 -18 -4.8%
Entire U.S. 210048 235059 -25011 -10.6%

Source:  Best and Worst States and CareerBuilder.com

Finally, the recent drop is all the more alarming as there has been a headwindof positive stimulus.  The U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Actwas signed into law on February 14, 2009 about one month prior to ourlast measurement.  March was also the bottom of the stock market dropwith a strong rally of 25.6% in the Dow from March to May.  Onewould expect improvement in view of the great wealth effect of thestock market and the government stimulus.  We will update more fully job changes since March when the stock market began to recover in an upcoming post.  Signs of encouragement for job openings are not yet strong.