Yellen’s Labor Market Dashboard

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has used what she called her “dashboard” of jobs data to justify the Fed’s easy money policies and to argue that there’s still considerable slack in the labor market six years after the recession’s end. Only three of the monthly indicators that she flagged are back to where they were in the four years leading up to the last economic downturn, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

Updated July 3, 2014

Pre-Recession level
(2004-2007 average)
Worst Level
since 2008
Relative bounce back from worst level
Job openings rate
Job openings as a share of the sum of job openings and paid employment
Layoffs/discharges rate
Layoffs and discharges as a percentage of paid employees
Nonfarm payrolls*
Three-month rolling average of change in payrolls based on a survey of employers.
Unemployment rate
Number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force
U–6 underemployment rate
Includes part-time workers who want a full-time job and those not in the labor force who would take a job if one were available
Quits rate
Workers who quit their job as a percentage of paid employees
Long-term unemployed share
Share of unemployed who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer
Hires rate
Workers hired as a percentage of paid employees
Labor force participation rate
Labor force as a percentage of the working-age civilian, noninstitutional population

* Dashboard was revised August 1 to reflect a three-month rolling average for payrolls, instead of the monthly change, in order to better illustrate the trend in job gains.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, data compiled by Bloomberg