That is the ratio of jobseekers for every advertised job opening in April of this year. The data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by way of the Career News newsletter (sorry, no link).
…there were 5.4 job hunters for every advertised opening in April. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey said the April ratio was up from 4.8 in March, and up dramatically from 1.7 in December 2007, when the recession began.
That is one tough market for jobseekers. You notice the reference to “advertised” openings? At some point, maybe already, networking will become the highest priority for jobseekers in their search for job openings. The fact that Gen Y is a driven, networking generation leads me to believe they will rely on networking for candidate sourcing before advertised job postings.
Nonetheless, the ratio is remarkable for today’s economy. The fact that hiring is a trailing indicator means this ratio will likely increase over the next few months.