The Job Search Difficulty Index measures the difficulty of finding employment in each state. The index is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed workers as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the number of jobs in Juju’s online job data base, according to Juju’s Brendan Kruickshank.
“Well, basically what we do is take a look at the numbers that the BLS releases in terms of the unemployment percentage in the top 50 cities in the country by population, then we compare that to our comprehensive index of jobs. So, when comparing the number of open jobs to the unemployment rate in each of these 50 markets, we can come up with a ranking of the number of unemployed individuals per open job. And the Houston market was closer to six unemployed individuals, and now it’s down to 4.75.”
Kruickshank says plant closings or new job announcements can affect the numbers. A lot depends on the types of industries in each market.
“We’re seeing almost all major markets improving. Some are certainly not as well off as others, so Detroit, St. Louis–some of the areas that rely more on manufacturing and construction sectors–are the ones that have been near the bottom of the ranking since we’ve been compiling them for the last seven months. We do see some seasonal differences, as well, so certain markets that rely heavily on the retail sector, for example, will be stronger during the holiday season, than as you move into the first quarter, a lot of those jobs dissipate.”
The job search engine Juju.com compiles its data base from thousands of employer career portals, recruiter Websites and job boards nationwide.