With record competition for jobs, why does Bernanke think the recession is over?


It's tough to find a job these days. In 2000, the Labor Department began keeping statistics on the ratio of unemployed workers to permanent job openings. This July, that ratio hit a record of six to one -- representing the 14.5 million official unemployment count to 2.4 million permanent full-time jobs open (in the 2001 recession, the ratio was about two to one). With the open position ratio at three times the previous record, it makes me wonder why the Fed thinks the recession is over.

This is scary for workers. The New York Times interviewed 51-year-old Milwaukee resident, Debbie Kransky who lost her medical billing job in February. Since this was her second job loss in two years and the job she lost in February lasted only a month, her last unemployment check -- $340 -- is her final one. She has run through her $10,000 life savings.

Kransky -- who lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment -- is understandably worried. She spent $10 to drive her jeep downtown to interview for a clerical job with a health insurance company , but she got stood up after waiting an hour. As she told the Times, "I've worked my entire life. I've got October rent. After that, I don't know. I've never lived month to month my entire life. I'm just so scared, I can't even put it into words."