When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Estimate: Top US Firms Have Over 701,900 Job Openings

I am not a statistician and don't play one on TV.

But here is the logic that you've been following all week. First you noticed the Fortune report on the 10 companies that had job openings for about 9,000 jobs. Then you quickly extended that research to 21 companies with over 18,000 job openings. Then yesterday you extended our reach to a sample size of 100 Fortune 1000 companies.

So here is the assumption, the leap, and the question:

If the 100 companies is a representative sample of the Fortune 1000 AND those 100 are recruiting today to fill 70,000 jobs... then doesn't it follow that the 1000 firms that make up the Fortune 1000 must be recruiting today to fill over 700,000 positions?!

Just in from Reader NyxWulf:
Using the T distribution at a 95% confidence level I come up with an estimated average of [495, 923] which results in a number of jobs in the top 1000 from 495,000 to 923,000 with a 95% certainty.
Thanks NyxWulf!

"I not only use all of the brains I have, but all I can borrow."
-Woodrow Wilson



  1. Good God, are you joking. Economics are dinosuars, they have all outlive the little use they had. Game over, do not pass go. Stop looking backwards during this game changer. You would have been better off learning how to farm rather than all that time learning useless economic ideology.

  2. Anonymous,

    As you state it is always great to just "get to work." In fact I heard an inspiring CEO ask about his companies strategy the other day. His response was: "we don't got no strategy, we just get stuff done every single day."

    Economists today just measure that. (And sometime try to predict the outcome). The former group is usually more successful... and frequently they are called "accountants." The later group (sometimes called financial planners) are having a more difficult time currently.

    Both disciplines seem to quite a few job openings these days. Provided you are willing to "just get stuff done."

    And interestingly some of the best economists that I know these days are also farmers from southeastern Pennsylvania or ranchers from Colorodo.

    Neither group own dinosaurs.

    Go figure.

  3. So, how many of those Fortune 100 jobs are located within our borders? I'll bet nowhere near 70,000

    Now, how many within our borders are planned to be filled with Americans and not cheaper visa applicants?

    And finally, how many will be temporary contract workers or permanently employed?

    Figures lie and liars figure.

    Go figure.

  4. Thanks for reading TeresaE,

    You may be interested in this story last week that shows AT&T bringing 5,000 jobs back from overseas...

    You may also be interested in this one:
    Readers here know that I believe economists make astrology look respectable...

    Hope you stick around and help us figure.

  5. The number would be much smaller than that because it is undoubtedly not a representative sample because its probably the largest of the Fortune 100 companies. When you expand that to the Fortune 1000 the company size, and thus their hiring needs goes down quickly.

    You know what they say about assumptions... and this leap in logic looks like it is fit for lemmings.

    Other problems with this whole line of thinking is that many corporate job postings are "non-jobs"... Many companies continue to post open jobs even when they are in hiring freezes, many job openings are posted way past when they are either cancelled or filled. Some job postings are just used by HR for "resume trolling". Some companies like to post job openings just so that it looks to investors, etc., that they are "growing" even when they aren't. And many job postings are speculative... they get posted before an opening is actually approved and budgeted because hiring managers want to get a head start. Often those postings never really result in someone getting hired.

    And even if it was right, 700,000 jobs wouldn't nearly be enough to go around for the number of highly qualified Americans who are currently or soon will be unemployed or underemployed. Worse yet, as someone else mentioned -- its entirely likely that a large percentage of those jobs will either be sent off-shore or filled with cheap imported H1B and L1 visa holders.

  6. Anonymous

    "The number would be much smaller..."
    Your assumptions are wrong. Indeed it is a representative sample of the top 1000... if you wish to refute that please provide your sample data and we will use your sample (provided of course you provide a representative sample.)

    1. Did you examine the spreadsheet that we've provided? There would then be not need for you to speculate that it only contain the top 100 -- indeed it is a representative sample size of 100 of the top 1000. It is then the statistics that gives us the range and the margin of error.

    2. I have worked in corp America all my career and your assertion that the number of jobs is less than externally posted is incorrect. Any placement HR professional would agree that actually the opposite is true. In fact, the number of jobs available are typically much higher than posted externally. Further those non-posted jobs are usually the best and highest paying.

    3. I'd suggest you do a bit more research on this point. You will note several articles here and elsewhere that point to several large firms actually redeploying positions back to the states.

    4. We like to back our statements here with facts and data, please provide that for your "cheap imported H1B" assertion. I think you will find quickly that the data disproves your argument.

    Thanks for reading.

  7. GNE:

    Thanks for the rebuttal to Anonymous. It seems like every time you post good news, some one wants to knock it down with their view of "reality." As I look out of my office window in dowtown Atlanta at all the traffic headed south for the weekend, it does appear that some folks have jobs to pay for the gas!

  8. It's pretty rough finding a job in this economy, that really goes without saying. Thankfully, listings like Jobnob.com take a big chunk of the effort out.

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