Current unemployment rates result from long-term "structural" factors interacting with short-term "cyclical" dynamics. Change during the recession is used here to illustrate the short-run, while the current level reflects the long-run condition.
through May 2012
Job openings per unemployed worker >>
How many job openings could the average unemployed worker apply for in 2011?
All education levels: job openings
Bachelor's degree or higher:
Associate's degree or some college:
High school diploma or less:
Rankings on factors that affect unemployment
Short-run "cyclical" unemployment rate changes are due primarily to demand for industry products, house price changes, and to a lesser extent, the gap in the supply of and demand for educated workers. This education gap index largely explains long-run unemployment.
Rankings are out of the 100 largest metro areas (1st=top performance,
contributing to lower unemployment)
Scatter plot >>
How does unemployment relate to the education gap?
Educated worker supply and demand
Share of workers by educational attainment vs. share of job openings by education required
Definitions and sources
The education gap index is calculated as the years of education required by the average job vacancy in a metro area divided by the years of education attained by the average working-age person in that area.
Demand for industry products refers to predicted job growth during the recovery, based on the metro area’s industry mix and national industry growth.
Job openings data are from the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online Series.
Other sources include the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Moody’s Analytics, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. For more, download the report above.