The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)
Online Labor Demand Up 268,100 in February
05 Mar. 2014
- February posts strong increase following small loss in January
- NOTE: Historical data from 2011 forward were revised to adjust for the removal of a job board (See page 7).
To purchase historical Help Wanted OnLine data, call Haver Analytics
+1 212 986 9300
To purchase detailed Help Wanted OnLine data for local areas, contact June Shelp at +1 212 339 0369
Online advertised vacancies rose to 5,186,200 in February, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series released today. The February Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.1 unemployed for each vacancy with a total of 5.3 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies.
The February Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.1 unemployed for each vacancy with a total of 5.3 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies.
"After a very lackluster 2013, the large February increase is the first signal in many months of possible renewed strength in demand for labor,” said June Shelp, Vice President of The Conference Board. “The large increase may partially be a result of pent-up demand following the bad winter weather across the U.S.”
The February data brightens the demand for service occupations like transportation, healthcare support and office work; however, for these occupations there are still two to three unemployed competing for each advertised vacancy. By contrast, for the high-demand computer and healthcare professional jobs there is notable evidence of worker shortages with three or more advertised vacancies for each unemployed worker (See Table 7).
The release schedule, national historic table and technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website,
http://www.conference-board.org/data/helpwantedonline.cfm. 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 Corporation.
REGIONAL AND STATE HIGHLIGHTS
- February labor demand rose in all regions of the U.S. with 19 of the 20 largest States up
- Colorado dipped by 100 in February (Table 3)
February Changes for States
In February, online labor demand rose in 46 States with modest declines in Alaska, Alabama, Maine, and Colorado. Compared to last February’s levels, 33 states were improved, 14 lost ground, and three (West Virginia, Delaware, and Georgia) were unchanged (Table 3).
Regionally, the largest February gains were in the Midwest (+98,900) and the West (77,200) followed closely by the South (+72,700). The smallest gain for February was in the Northeast, which rose 28,500.
The Midwest’s gain of 98,900 reflected increases in all of the largest States, which together accounted for 70 percent of the rise. The largest monthly gains were in Ohio, up 16,000, and Illinois, up 15,400. Other Midwest States with gains included Wisconsin (+13,400), Minnesota (+10,900), Michigan (+7,000), and Missouri (+5,800). Iowa (+4,300) led gains among the smaller States, followed by Nebraska (+3,100), South Dakota (+1,300), and North Dakota (+1,000).
The West posted the next largest February gain, 77,200, with two of the largest States (California, up 35,600, and Washington, up 20,200) contributing over 70 percent of that region’s gains. Meanwhile, Arizona was up 3,000 and Colorado dipped by 100. Among the smaller states in the West, Oregon (+5,200) saw the largest gain, followed by Utah (+4,900), Idaho (+2,500), and Montana (+1,500).
The South’s gain of 72,700 was dispersed among the large and small States. The largest gain was in Texas, the largest State in the area, up 25,300. Virginia (+10,200) saw the next largest gain, followed by Florida (+8,200), Maryland (+4,000), North Carolina (+3,300), and Georgia (+700). Smaller States adding to the increase included Oklahoma (+2,800), Kentucky (+2,600), Louisiana (+2,500), and Tennessee (+2,400). Alabama lost 300 advertised vacancies in February.
The smallest gain was in the Northeast with Massachusetts posting the largest gain, 9,500, followed by Pennsylvania (+6,600), New York (+4,600), and New Jersey (+1,500). Gains in the smaller Northeast States were led by Connecticut (+3,200), followed by New Hampshire (+1,500) and Rhode Island (+1,100). Maine lost 200 advertised vacancies (Table 3).
Note: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for December 2013, the latest month for which state unemployment data are available. There were three States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: North Dakota (0.51), South Dakota (.83), and Nebraska (0.90). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Mississippi (3.92), Kentucky (3.38), and Arkansas (3.34). All of these States indicated that there were three or more 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 February, six of the 52 largest metro area rose over 10 percent with the largest gain of 14,800 in the Seattle Metro area (Table 5)
- Among the 20 largest metro areas only San Jose posted a decline in February
Metro Area Changes
In February, three of the largest metro areas—Seattle, Minneapolis and Dallas—posted gains of over 10 percent (Table B). Since February 2013, 20 of the 52 metropolitan areas for which data are reported separately declined in the number of advertised vacancies. The remaining 32 metro areas increased.
February saw gains posted in all of the largest metro areas in the Northeast, South, and Midwest. In the West, San Jose (-1,100) was the only major metro area that saw a minor decline (Table B).
Metro areas that posted the largest numerical gains were Los Angeles (+15,600), Chicago (+14,700), and Dallas (+12,100). Other large increases included San Francisco (+10,200) in the West; Minneapolis (+9,800) in the Midwest; Washington, D.C. (+8,900) in the South, and Boston (+7,700) in the Northeast (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 December 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 0.75).
By contrast, employed workers face large competition for each opening in Riverside, CA (more than 5 unemployed for every opening); as well as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Memphis (over 3 unemployed for every opening). (See Table 6 for the Supply/Demand rates for the 52 metro areas).
- In February, only one occupation—food preparing and serving—of the 10 largest online job categories had more than 3 unemployed for every advertised vacancy (Table C & Table 7)
- Computer and Math occupations posted a 23,000 increase in February
Occupational Changes for the Month of February
In February, among the ten occupations with the largest number of advertised vacancies, eight posted increases and two—Healthcare practitioners (-7,400) and Managers (-6,200)—declined (Table C).
In February the largest increase was in Transportation and Material moving, up 92,700, reflecting increased demand for truck drivers and their supervisors (both heavy and light vehicles) as well as stock handlers. There was also an increase for Office Support staff (+35,500) as the demand for customer service representatives, executive secretaries and administrative assistants increased.
After declining in January, the demand for Computer and Math jobs increased by 23,000 in February to 564,500.Fueling this demand were greater need for software and web developers as well as customer support positions.
Healthcare support occupations also increased in February, rising 22,200 to 158,100. The increase was due to rising demand for registered and licensed practical nurses as well as physical and occupational therapists. Other occupations with increased demand included Installation and Repair, up 20,800 as the need for maintenance and repair workers increased. Constructions jobs (added demand for electricians, carpenters and laborers) as well as Production occupations (laborers and machinists) increased in February, up 13,100 and 13,000 respectively.
The February increases were not enough to bring many of the professional categories above the demand for last February. The gain since last February in the professional occupations (occupations 11 to 29 in Table 7) has been 164,000 advertised vacancies as many of the occupations showed no increase in demand. In contract, the gain for the Service/Production occupations (occupations 31 to 53 in Table 7) was 301,000 (See Table C and Table 7).
New HWOL Data Revision
With the release of February 2014 data, the historical data from January 2010 forward have been revised to adjust for the removal of a job board that was reclassified as out-of-scope. Due to the size of the job board, the historical data from 2011 forward have been revised in order to eliminate any possible non-economic effects on the HWOL time series and/or analysis. Seasonal adjustment factors have been updated based on the revised series.
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 email@example.com or navigate to http://www.haver.com/contact.html. For HWOL data for detailed geographic areas and occupations not in the press release, please contact June.Shelp@conference-board.org or Jeanne.Shu@conference-board.org.
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, www.bls.gov.
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:
THE CONFERENCE BOARD HELP-WANTED ONLINE DATA SERIES™
Release Dates for 2014
The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, April 2, at 10:00 AM ET.
For further information contact:
1 212 339 0232
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.