The current labor market is often described as “tight,” and it may be hard to visualize what that really means. Considering the ratio of unemployed people to job openings gives a clearer picture of exactly how tight or slack the labor market is.
We can create this ratio by dividing the unemployment numbers from the Current Population Survey (CPS) by the job openings data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), both from the BLS.
When the ratio rises, as it did at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring becomes easier. There