The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)

Online Labor Demand Rose 155,900 in June

02 Jul. 2014

  • Labor demand fluctuated in the first six months of 2014 but remained basically flat
  • Since last June, labor demand is down for professional workers but up for service/production workers  

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Online advertised vacancies were up 155,900 to 5,060,100 in June, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The May Supply/Demand rate stands at 2 unemployed for each vacancy, with a total of 4.9 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was 9.8 million in May.

“The June increase of 155,900 is positive news. However, the net effect is that labor demand was basically flat for the first six months of 2014,” said June Shelp, Vice President at The Conference Board. “There is churn in the labor market as people change jobs. Most of the gains since last June were in the lower-paying service jobs, not the higher-paying professional jobs.”

Since June 2013, advertised vacancies for professional jobs dropped by almost 80,000 while service/production jobs gained a total of 170,000 vacancies. Since last June, employer demand has been down for the higher-paying professional jobs (where the average pay ranges from $34/hour to $53/hour). Professional occupations like managers (-8,300), business and finance workers (-11,200), and even computer workers (down 51,000) all dropped. In contrast, lower-paying jobs (where the pay ranges from just over $10/hour to $20/hour) gained. Transportation workers (+73,000), office support (+42,100), production workers (+19,300), and construction (+19,300) all rose. (See Table 7 for the year-to-year movement and average salaries for all major occupations.)

The release schedule, national historic table and technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: The historical series for the States and the 52 largest MSAs is available from Haver Analytics. The underlying data for The Conference Board HWOL is collected by Wanted Technologies.


  • Eighteen of the 20 largest States (all but Michigan and Minnesota) posted gains in June
  • Among the 50 States, 37 experienced gains while 12 declined and 1 (Hawaii) remained constant

June Changes for States

In June, online labor demand was up in 37 States (See Table 3), down in 12 States, and unchanged in one (Hawaii). All 4 regions gained.

The West experienced the largest gain, +61,500, with a spike of 31,200 in California. Colorado gained 8,500, Arizona rose 5,500, and Washington increased by 4,700. Increases in smaller States in the West included Oregon (+3,400), Utah (+1,400), New Mexico (+800), and Idaho (+700). Hawaii remained constant.

The Northeast gained +49,600, reflecting a gain of 23,400 in New York. New Jersey and Pennsylvania both rose 8,300. Massachusetts gained 4,100. In the smaller States, Connecticut gained 4,500, New Hampshire increased by 1,300, Maine gained 900, Vermont rose 400, and Rhode Island increased by 300.

Almost half of the South’s increase of +46,900 reflected a gain of 21,100 in Texas. Also rising were Florida, up 9,700, North Carolina, up 4,600, Virginia (+4,200), Georgia, up 3,200, and Maryland with a gain of 2,700 (Table A). The smaller Southern States contributing to the region’s increase were South Carolina, up 900, Kentucky, up 600, and West Virginia, up 500. Partially offsetting these gains were declines in Alabama, down 2,500, and Mississippi, down 500 (Table 3).

The Midwest rose a modest +200 in June. The largest gain occurred in Illinois (+10,900). Wisconsin rose 1,900, Ohio gained 1,800, and Missouri increased by 1,200. Partially offsetting these gains were drops in Michigan, down 7,500, and Minnesota, which fell 1,300. Among the smaller States in the region, South Dakota decreased by 1,200, Kansas fell 700, North Dakota lost 300, and Iowa dropped 100 while Indiana gained 100.

Supply/ Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for May 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 (0.47), Nebraska (0.84), South Dakota (0.85), Vermont (0.94), and Utah (0.96). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Mississippi (3.68) and Kentucky (3.32), 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.


  • In June, among the 20 largest metro areas, 18 gained, 1 (Detroit) declined, and 1 (Cleveland) remained constant
  • Of the 52 metro areas for which Help Wanted OnLine provides monthly data, 47 gained advertisements, 4 lost, and 1 remained constant (Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In June, gains were recorded in 18 of the largest metro areas, a loss was recorded in one, and one remained constant. The largest gains were seen in the New York metro area (+22,000) in the Northeast; Los Angeles (+13,600) in the West; Chicago (+10,700) in the Midwest; and Dallas (+9,900) in the South (See Table B and Table 5).

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 April 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 0.88) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers, where there is a job opening for practically every unemployed person, included Washington, DC (1.11), Oklahoma City (1.13), Austin (1.13), San Jose (1.18), and Minneapolis-St. Paul (1.19).

In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside, CA (over 5 unemployed for every opening) as well as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Sacramento (over 3 unemployed for every opening). In 31 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 June, all of the 10 largest online job categories posted gains (Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of June

The largest gain in June was in Computer and math workers, which rose 25,000 in June to 547,800 as demand for web developers, computer user support specialists, network and computer systems administrators, and applications software developers increased. Demand for Management workers increased by 15,000 to 464,300. This reflected higher demand for a variety of managers including marketing, computer and information systems, and medical managers. Business and financial demand rose 14,500 to 302,000 due to increased demand for management analysts, accountants, and human resources specialists.

Healthcare practitioners and technical workers saw an increase of 10,800, reflecting higher demand for registered nurses, physical therapists, and family and general practitioners. The supply/demand rate for these workers lies at 0.3, 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 Sales and related workers was up 9,800 to 605,500 due to increased demand for demonstrators and product promoters. Demand for Transportation and material moving workers rose 8,100 to 336,100, reflecting higher demand for truck drivers and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers.


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).

For more information about the Help Wanted OnLine database delivered via Haver Analytics, please email or navigate to For HWOL data for detailed geographic areas and occupations not in the press release, please contact or



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,

The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

WANTED Technologies Corporation

WANTED is a leading supplier of real-time business intelligence solutions for the talent marketplace. Using technology to gather data from corporate career sites and online job boards, WANTED builds products to help our users make better human capital decisions faster. Users of our products include corporate human resources departments, market analysts and employment services firms as well as the federal, state and local labor market analysts that use HWOL. For more information, please visit:


Haver Analytics is the premier provider of time series data for the Global Strategy and Research community. Haver Analytics was founded in 1978 as a consulting firm and today provides the highest quality data and software for industry professionals. Haver provides products and services to clients in financial services, government, academia and various industry groups from consulting to manufacturing. From more information please see:

Release Dates for 2014

July 30
September 3
October 1
November 5
December 3

The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, July 30, at 10:00 AM ET

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232


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Press Release
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National Historical Table (Complimentary)

Technical Notes
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