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Macroeconomics: A Watershed Quarter

A Chart That Screams, 'Extend Unemployment Benefits!'

Michael Fletcher and the whole Washington Post could take lessons from Daniel Intiviglio. Just saying.


A Chart That Screams, 'Extend Unemployment Benefits!': At the end of May there were 3.2 million job openings, according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the face of nearly 15 million unemployed, that's obviously not enough. And if you add in those other Americans not working because they're discouraged or marginally attached ("U-5"), then that number jumps to almost 17 million. Here's a picture of how the labor market changed since 2007:

A Chart That Screams, 'Extend Unemployment Benefits!' - Business - The Atlantic

(Note: Jobless data is available through June, while job openings numbers are only available through May.)

This chart shows a serious problem. That giant gap consists of Americans who are unemployed, and couldn't get a job even if they wanted to. This emphasizes the need for Congress to extend unemployment benefits. It's pretty clear that millions of Americans remain unemployed because the jobs aren't there -- not becuase they aren't trying hard enough to find them. In fact, it's not even close.