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Scary: There Are Now Five Job Seekers for Every Job Opening

Maybe job seekers would be more motivated if there were actually, y'know, jobs.

We told you before that research shows America's long-term unemployed citizens frequently end up depressed, dejected, and more unlikely to look for jobs as time drags on. We also told you that some companies are cruelly requiring job applicants to be employed in order to be considered for work. Today, we've got yet another reason why so many people are having trouble finding jobs.


Behold, one of the most frightening charts of our current recession. As you can see above, even if the jobless were hustling intensely to find work, and even if employers were universally willing to hire the unemployed, the fact of the matter is that there are now five job seekers per every one job opening. While that disparity is down from a 2009 high, it's still far higher than the amazing parity of December 2000.

This is just more evidence to use against anyone ridiculous enough to say that people who have been out of work for many months are either lazy or not trying hard enough. Beyond that, according to the Economic Policy Institute, this is also a sign that we need to do more stimulus spending, not cut government projects the way the GOP would like:

These numbers underscore the fact that cuts in federal spending are extremely premature. With the job seekers ratio at or above 5-to-1 for nearly two straight years, we should instead be having discussions of substantial additional stimulus spending.

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