The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)
Online Labor Demand Edged Down 15,500 in July
30 Jul. 2014
- Following a strong June increase of 155,900, July showed a small loss
- States were mixed with about half showing small gains
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Online advertised vacancies showed a small drop of 15,500 to 5,044,600 in July, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series, released today. The June Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.9 unemployed for each advertised vacancy with a total of 4.4 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was 9.5 million in June.
“Labor demand continues to be at historically high levels with employer demand running at about 5 million ads each month,” said Dr. Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomics and Labor Markets at The Conference Board. “While the average monthly increases have become more modest since early 2013, the overall trend has helped lower unemployment levels and reduced the U.S. Supply/Demand rate from a peak of 5.2 in June 2009 to 1.9 in June 2014.”
In July, professional occupations showed a small gain in Computer and Math (13,400) and Community and Social Services (3,500) but a drop in Healthcare (-8,300). The Services/Production occupations showed losses with Office and Administration (-15,700) and Installation and Repair (-9,600) (See Table 7).
REGIONAL AND STATE HIGHLIGHTS
- Fifteen of the 20 largest States posted losses in July
- Among the 50 States, 27 experienced gains while 23 declined
July Changes for States
In July, online labor demand was up in 27 States (See Table 3) and down in 23 States. The West and South experienced modest gains while the Northeast and Midwest posted declines.
The West experienced a modest gain of 1,800, with an increase of 1,900 in Arizona to 95,100. Colorado grew 300, California dropped 1,800 to 546,900, and Washington fell 1,100 to 127,600. Among the smaller States in the West, Utah gained 2,200, led by an increase in Sales and Related Occupations and Food Preparation and Serving-Related Occupations. New Mexico rose 700, Hawaii increased by 200, Idaho dropped 1,800, and Oregon fell 600 to 68,200 (Table 3).
The South grew by 1,700 in July. Out of the larger States in the region, North Carolina rose 1,300 to 128,600. Florida and Georgia both fell by 2,500 while Texas dropped 1,400. Maryland and Virginia both decreased by 1,000 (Table A). Among the smaller States, South Carolina was up 3,600 to 64,600. This was the South’s largest gain, led by an increase in Education, Training, and Library Occupations and Management Occupations. Kentucky rose 1,200. Alabama and West Virginia increased by 1,000 and 900 respectively while Mississippi fell by 600.
The Northeast fell 11,700, reflecting a loss of 7,100 in New Jersey. Massachusetts dropped 3,700 to 149,400, and New York decreased by 3,400 to 303,400. Pennsylvania rose 4,700 to 218,300. This was the largest gain in any State and was led by an increase in Sales and Related Occupations and Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations. In the smaller States, Maine gained 800, Vermont rose 500, and New Hampshire increased by 300. Connecticut and Rhode Island both decreased by 100.
The Midwest dropped 2,300 in July. The largest drop occurred in Michigan (-6,500). Illinois fell 2,100 to 201,400. Ohio and Wisconsin fell by 1,000 and 900 respectively. Minnesota rose 4,400 to 123,700. This was the largest gain in the Midwest region. Minnesota’s gain is partially due to the rise in Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations and Office and Administrative Support Occupations. Missouri fell 200. Among the smaller States in the region, Kansas had an increase of 2,900 to 46,500, Iowa increased by 900, Indiana gained 600, and North Dakota and South Dakota inched up with gains of 400 and 100 respectively.
Supply/ Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for June 2014, the latest month for which State unemployment data are available. There were five States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: North Dakota (0.49), South Dakota (0.89), Nebraska (0.89), Utah (0.92), and Vermont (0.98). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Mississippi (3.84) and Kentucky (3.16), where there were over three unemployed workers for every job opening.
Please note that the Supply/Demand rate only provides a measure of relative tightness of the individual State labor markets and does not suggest that the occupations of the unemployed directly align with the occupations of the advertised vacancies.
METRO AREA HIGHLIGHTS
- In July, among the 20 largest metro areas, 4 (San Francisco, Minneapolis, San Jose, and Cleveland) gained and 16 declined
- Of the 52 metro areas for which Help Wanted OnLine provides monthly data, 28 lost advertisements, 21 gained, and 3 (Tucson, Louisville, and Kansas City) remained constant (Table 5)
Metro Area Changes
In July, out of the largest 52 metro areas, online labor demand was up in 21 metro areas and down in 28, while three remained constant. The MSAs with the largest losses in each of the regions were: Chicago (-2,300) in the Midwest; Atlanta (-2,000) in the South; New York (-1,900) and Boston (-1,800) in the Northeast; and Los Angeles (-1,900) in the West (See Table B and Table 5).
The West experienced a modest gain, 1,800, with an increase of 1,800 in San Francisco to 112,100. Los Angeles fell by 1,900 to 165,200 while Las Vegas grew to 31,400 with an increase of 2,000 (Table 5). Phoenix and San Diego both declined by 700. Seattle-Tacoma and Denver dropped 500 and 300 respectively.
The South grew by 1,700 in July. Atlanta fell by 2,000 to 94,700, and Miami and Washington, DC both dropped 1,400. Charlotte led the South with an increase of 1,200 followed by San Antonio and Tampa, which both grew by 800.
The Northeast fell 11,700, reflecting a loss of 1,900 in New York to 283,100. Boston dropped 1,800 to 115,100, and Philadelphia decreased by 600 to 99,500. Pittsburgh gained 3,400 to 46,500 while Hartford lost 700 and stands at 27,400.
The Midwest dropped 2,300 in July. The largest drop occurred in Chicago which fell 2,300 to 156,100. Detroit fell 1,600 to 70,800, and Minneapolis-St. Paul added 1,200 and stands at 82,200. St. Louis rose to 37,900 with an increase of 700. Cleveland and Columbus both gained 300 while Cincinnati and Indianapolis dropped 400 and 100 respectively.
The number of postings does not, however, tell the entire story. A crucial factor is how many unemployed people are seeking jobs and how much competition there is for the jobs that are available. The Conference Board HWOL’s Supply/Demand rate relates the number of unemployed workers to the number of advertised vacancies. Based on May data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), only Salt Lake City among major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers (S/D rate of 0.76) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Minneapolis-St. Paul (1.03), Oklahoma City (1.09), Washington, DC (1.15), and Austin (1.17).
In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (nearly 6 unemployed for every opening) as well as Los Angeles and Sacramento (over 3 unemployed for every opening). In 29 of the 52 metro areas, however, there are now fewer than 2 unemployed per advertised opening. (See Table 6 for complete metro area Supply/Demand rates.)
- In July, 7 of the 10 largest online job categories posted losses (Table C)
Occupational Changes for the Month of July
The largest loss in July was in Office and administrative support workers, which fell 15,700 in July to 552,900 as demand for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks and customer service representatives decreased. Demand for Installation, maintenance, and repair workers decreased by 9,600 to 214,000. This reflected lower demand for general maintenance and repair workers and heating and air conditioning mechanics and installers.
Healthcare practitioners and technical workers saw a decrease of 8,300, reflecting lower demand for registered nurses. However, the supply/demand rate for these workers lies at 0.31, i.e. about 3 advertised available openings for every job-seeker. (See Table 7 for Supply/Demand rates for all of the SOC categories.) Demand for Transportation and material moving workers dropped 5,500 to 330,600, reflecting lower demand for truck drivers.
Demand for Computer and mathematical science workers rose 13,400 to 561,200 partially due to increased demand for computer systems analysts and information technology project managers. Demand for Food preparation and serving-related workers increased 5,400 to 203,600 due to increased demand for short-order cooks. Business and financial demand rose 2,800 to 304,800 due to increased demand for auditors, personal financial advisors, and tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents.
HWOL available on Haver Analytics
Over 3,000 of the key HWOL press release time series are exclusively available on Haver Analytics. The available time series include the geographic and occupational series for levels and rates for both Total Ads and New Ads. In addition to the seasonally adjusted series, many of the unadjusted series are also available. The geographic detail includes: U.S., 9 Regions, 50 States, 52 MSAs (largest metro areas). The occupational detail includes: U.S. (2-digit SOC), States (1-digit SOC) and MSAs (1-digit SOC).
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The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® Data Series (HWOL) measures the number of new, first-time online jobs and jobs reposted from the previous month for over 16,000 Internet job boards, corporate boards and smaller job sites that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.
Like The Conference Board’s long-running Help Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (which was published for over 55 years and discontinued in July 2008), the HWOL series measures help wanted advertising, i.e. labor demand. The HWOL data series began in May 2005. With the September 2008 release, HWOL began providing seasonally adjusted data for the U.S., the nine Census regions and the 50 States. Seasonally adjusted data for occupations were provided beginning with the May 2009 release, and seasonally adjusted data for the 52 largest metropolitan areas began with the February 2012 release.
People using this data are urged to review the information on the database and methodology available on The Conference Board website and contact us with questions and comments. Background information and technical notes and discussion of revisions to the series are available at:
Additional information on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data used in this release can be found on the BLS website,
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THE CONFERENCE BOARD HELP-WANTED ONLINE DATA SERIES™
Release Dates for 2014
The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, September 3, at 10:00 AM ET
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