I’m not going to rehash the headlines that make everyone worry that the next recession is around the corner, even though we haven’t enjoyed the recovery yet. I did see a little bright spot locally, though. The Governor’s press release refers to a “Job Search Difficulty Index,” put out by www.juju.com. According to its analysis, the Baltimore metropolitan area has the fourth best job outlook. The study ranks major metropolitan areas by the number of unemployed individuals per each advertised job. More good news: the top spot goes to Washington, D.C., where many Marylanders work or would agree to work. The study is simplistic, in that it does not match qualifications against the advertised jobs. Still, a ratio of 1.67 unemployed people against 1 open job does not sound that bad. Certainly not as bad as Miami’s 9.41 ratio, or Detroit’s 8.67.
Besides being simplistic, though, these ratios are misleading in the way that the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts the unemployed. In fact, many unemployed Baltimore residents have been missing from this count for years. The number of unemployed people is based on a survey of people who are considered to be actively looking for work. It does not include a self-employed person (though some people are self-employed only until they find a job they like), someone in school, someone working in a family business, and someone who did not look for a job in the last four weeks.