The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)

Online Labor Demand Rose 170,200 in November

03 Dec. 2014

  • November posts large gain following flat October
  • California, Florida and Texas show strong gains along with MSAs New York, Los Angeles and Seattle
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Online advertised vacancies rose 170,200 to 5,253,900 in November, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series, released today. The October Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.77 unemployed for each advertised vacancy with a total of 3.9 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was 9.0 million in October.

“November labor demand shows renewed strength, helping to boost a slow-growth second half of the year,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director, Economic Outlook & Labor Markets at The Conference Board. “Gains were widespread across States and MSAs with continued positive trend growth across much of the U.S.”

In November, the Professional category saw strong gains in Management (17,100), Business and Finance (15,400) and Computer (12,800) with a loss in Healthcare (-11,400). The Services/Production category saw gains in Office/Admin (43,100), Food (20,100) and Transportation (16,900) with a small drop in Sales (-8,800). Supply/Demand rates continue to improve, providing better opportunities for job seekers (see Table 7).

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.

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.


  • Most States and all regions posted gains in November

November Changes for States

In November, online labor demand was up in most States and all regions (see Table 3).

The West experienced the largest increase, 56,400, in November. California experienced by far the largest increase, 18,900, to 593,300. Washington rose 9,500 to 133,900. Colorado and Arizona gained 5,800 and 2,900 respectively (Table A). Among the smaller States in the West, Utah rose 5,900 to 61,500, Nevada gained 2,800 to 48,600, Idaho increased 2,100 to 28,000, New Mexico gained 2,100 to 31,300, Hawaii inched up 200 to 22,000, and Alaska fell 400 to 17,600 (Table 3).

The Midwest experienced a November increase of 49,200. The largest addition occurred in Ohio (up 8,400 to 186,400). Minnesota followed with a gain of 7,000 to 128,100. Michigan rose 6,000 to 170,300, Missouri was up 5,300 to 88,900, Illinois rose 2,000 to 214,000, and Wisconsin gained 700 to 114,200. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana rose 4,200 to 88,000, Nebraska rose 2,700 to 44,200, Iowa increased by 2,300 to 70,500, and Kansas gained 1,100 to 46,200. South Dakota and North Dakota gained 800 and 200 respectively.

The South increased 48,200 in November. Among larger States in the region, Florida experienced an increase of 10,900 to 279,400. Texas gained 10,600 to 402,600 and was followed by Virginia (up 4,300 to 149,900). Georgia and North Carolina each gained 4,100 to 148,900 and 136,500 respectively. Maryland fell 300 to 102,400. Among the smaller States, Louisiana was up 1,600 to 60,200. Alabama and Mississippi were up 1,100 to 52,200 and 27,000 respectively. West Virginia was up 400 to 21,900, Kentucky remained constant, South Carolina dropped 800 to 63,700, and Maryland fell 300 to 102,400.

The Northeast gained 30,000. New York experienced the largest gain, 8,400, to 308,300. Massachusetts gained 5,100 to 158,000, New Jersey increased 4,200 to 146,400, and Pennsylvania rose 2,000 to 210,900. In the smaller States, Connecticut rose 3,300 to 72,500, New Hampshire increased 600 to 30,300, Rhode Island gained 500 to 20,300, and Vermont rose 400 to 13,600. Maine fell 500 to 29,900.

Supply/ Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for October 2014, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were six States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: North Dakota (0.50), South Dakota (0.75), Nebraska (0.83), Utah (0.93), Colorado (0.94), and Minnesota (0.96). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Mississippi (3.67), where there were close to 4 unemployed workers for every job opening, and Alabama (2.61) and Arkansas (2.58), which had nearly 3 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 November, 50 metro areas posted gains, one fell, and one remained constant (Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In November labor demand was up in 50 of the 52 largest metro areas, one fell (Washington, DC), and one remained constant (Honolulu). The MSAs with the largest gains in each of the regions were: New York (+7,700) in the Northeast; Los Angeles (+6,200) and Seattle (+5,100) in the West; Minneapolis (+4,700) and Detroit (3,500) in the Midwest; and Houston (+4,500) in the South (See Table B and Table 5).

The West experienced the largest November increase, 56,400, led by Los Angeles, which rose 6,200 to 177,100. Seattle-Tacoma followed with an increase of 5,100 to 88,000, and Denver gained 3,900 to 74,800. San Diego gained 2,900 to 48,800, Phoenix increased 2,400 to 67,400, San Jose rose 2,300 to 54,900, and San Francisco increased 1,000 to 124,700. Salt Lake City increased 3,600 to 36,400, Portland rose 2,600 to 47,000, and Sacramento increased 1,000 to 29,400.

The Midwest gained 49,200 in November. The largest increase was in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which rose 4,700 to 86,300, followed by Detroit’s increase of 3,500 to 76,100 and Chicago’s gain of 1,300 to 165,100. Cleveland rose 1,000 to 34,700. Kansas City increased by 2,700 to 39,600, Indianapolis rose 2,100 to 34,000, St. Louis increased by 1,600 to 41,600, Columbus rose 1,300 to 37,600, and Cincinnati gained 1,200 to 33,700.

The South increased by 48,200 in November. Houston gained 4,500 to 97,600. Washington, DC fell 800 to 144,900. Atlanta gained 3,300 to 98,700. Tampa and San Antonio gained 2,000 to 44,700 and 32,800 respectively. Nashville rose 1,900 to 32,500, and Orlando increased 1,600 to 32,900. Baltimore gained 1,300 to 54,000. Miami increased 1,000 to 78,500. Dallas inched up 700 to 121,700.

The Northeast rose 30,000, reflecting an increase of 7,700 in New York to 289,000. Boston rose 3,700 to 123,800, and Philadelphia gained 2,900 to 102,000. Hartford gained 2,600 and stands at 29,000. Buffalo gained 1,400 to 21,700. Rochester rose 600 to 17,300. Pittsburgh followed by adding 500, and Providence inched up 400.

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 September data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 5 major metro areas (Salt Lake City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, San Jose, and San Francisco) saw more job openings than unemployed workers (S/D rates of 0.63, 0.90, 0.94, 0.98, and 0.99 respectively) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Austin (1.08), Oklahoma City (1.09), Washington, DC (1.15), and Boston (1.15).

In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (nearly 5 unemployed for every opening) as well as Memphis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento (nearly 3 unemployed for every opening). In 36 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 November, of the 10 largest online job categories, two posted declines (healthcare practitioners and technical occupations and sales and related occupations) (Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of November

In November, all occupations but Healthcare Practitioners and Technical and Sales and Related occupations posted gains. By far the largest gain in November was in Office and Administrative Support ads, which increased 43,100 to 577,300, largely due to increased demand for receptionists and information clerks and executive secretaries and administrative assistants. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 1.81, i.e. about 2 unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Food Preparation and Serving-Related ads rose 20,100 to 226,700, due to a rise in demand for food preparation and serving workers. Management ads gained 17,100 in November to 469,100 as demand for medical and health services managers increased. Transportation ads increased 16,900 in November to 353,700 as demand for truck drivers, light or delivery services increased. Business and Financial ads increased 15,400 to 334,800 due to a rise in demand for human resources specialists. Computer and Mathematical ads increased 12,800 to 589,800 due to rises in applications software developers, web developers, and network and computer systems administrators. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 0.24, i.e. over 4 advertised available openings for every job-seeker.   

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical ads dropped 11,400 in November to 559,100 as demand for licensed practical and vocational nurses and physical and occupational therapists decreased. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 0.38, i.e. about 2.6 advertised available openings for every job-seeker. (See Table 7 for Supply/Demand rates for all of the SOC categories.) Sales and related ads fell 8,800 to 599,600 due to a loss in ads for retail salespersons, first-line supervisors of retail sales workers, and insurance sales 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).

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



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

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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

January 7
February 4
March 4
April 1
May 6
June 3
July 1
August 5
September 2
September 30
November 4
December 2

The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, January 7, 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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