DHI-DFH Measure of National Mean Vacancy Duration
January 2001 to April 2016

The duration measure reflects the vacancy concept in the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).  Specifically, a job opening gets “filled” according to JOLTS when a job offer for the open position is accepted.  So the DHI-DFH vacancy duration statistics refer to the average length of time required to fill open positions.  Typically, there is also a lag between the fill date and the new hire's start date on the new job.

“Vacancy durations continue to lengthen in 2016, despite other indications that labor market tightness has plateaued in recent months,” said Dr. Steven Davis, William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  “The growing length of vacancy durations in a time of modest economic growth suggests that employers have become more selective and cautious in filling their open positions.” Davis is a co-creator of the DHI-DFH Recruiting Intensity Index and the DHI-DFH Mean Vacancy Duration Measure. 

“When we recently asked a number of DHI customers, the majority of hiring managers told us they intend to hire more professionals and the current economic environment has had no impact on hiring plans for the remainder of the year,” said Michael Durney, President and CEO of DHI Group, Inc. “Still, recruiting continues to be a struggle. The inability to find qualified candidates along with employers waiting to find the perfect combination of specific skills to fill an open role has lengthened hiring times relative to last year.”

Recruiting Intensity Per Vacancy
January 2001 to April 2016

The DHI-DFH Recruiting Intensity Index, plotted in the above chart, fell to 1.00 in April, down from a revised value of 1.03 in March.


Measures of Labor Market Slack
January 2001- April 2016

The above chart displays four other indicators of labor market slack, including a new indicator developed at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, alongside the mean vacancy duration.  All four measures in the chart point to considerable tightening of U.S. labor markets since mid-2009. The ratio of job vacancies to short term unemployment and the vacancy duration measure suggest a stronger labor market recovery than the quits rate or the ratio of job vacancies to all unemployed persons.