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Posted at 2:04 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Are employers getting ready to hire?

By Ezra Klein

Michael Mandel posts a bunch of data suggesting that (online) "help wanted" ads have skyrocketed over the past year, even as unemployment has also increased. "The labor market is getting ready for a massive rise in employment over the next year, as companies finally start hiring for positions they’ve been advertising for," he says.

I hope so. That data could also mean that unemployment is somewhat more structural than we thought -- i.e., the unemployed are in Florida, but the jobs are in Colorado -- or that employers have been moving their "help wanted" ads online at an accelerating rate, perhaps because online ads are cheaper and the businesses have been strapped for cash. And if you want to be depressed, read the comments. "I am reminded of a company that held a large job fair attended by over 500 people," writes one commenter. "A month later the number of job openings they listed on their site had increased from 52 to 57."

By Ezra Klein  | January 11, 2011; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  Economy  
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Next: 'The state of American business is improving'

Comments

I hope he's right, but the evidence isn't really there. Job openings are up over a year ago and flat over the past month

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/01/bls-job-openings-steady-in-november.html

Posted by: fuse | January 11, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"Are employers getting ready to hire?"

Employers have been hiring. Over 96.6 million hires have taken place since the start of 2009, per the BLS Jolts data (not seasonally adjusted). However, these have been more than offset by the 99.8 million seperations that have occurred over the same time period.

Posted by: justin84 | January 11, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Never read hin so I have no frame of reference for his work.

I'll say this for the big fella. He's way out on the limb by himself with his prediction, so he's due for a big "I told ya so" if he's right.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 11, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

There is one "structural" element of unemployment which won't change and that's age discrimination.

All those workers over 50 (myself included), or worse over 60 (me again), have no chance at a job anywhere near approximating what they once earned.

No 35 or 40-year-old manager is going to hire someone older. They are uncomfortable with someone who knows more than they, and perhaps a little afraid.

I don't have a number for the unemployed over 50, but surely it's in the millions. That's millions whose potential income is less than 50% (probably more) which won't be going into the recovering economy.

So, if predictions are correct that it may take 5 years or more to get back to low unemployment, a large segment of that will be workers with reduced incomes.

This recession has been the gift that keeps on giving.

Posted by: tomcammarata | January 11, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

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