The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)

Online Labor Demand Decreased 226,700 in June

06 Jul. 2016

  • The June loss follows a larger drop in May of 285,800
  • The May and June losses have been widespread across online job boards
  • Both the Professional and the Services/Production occupations have been hard hit


Online advertised vacancies decreased 226,700 to 4,657,500 in June, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The May Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.52 unemployed for each advertised vacancy with a total of 2.6 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was around 7.4 million in May.


“The losses in the first quarter of 2016 have been followed with even larger losses in the second quarter,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board.  “The 2016 slowdown in demand has been widespread, affecting virtually all States and MSAs.” 


In June, the Professional category saw losses in all major occupational categories with the largest losses in Management  (−24.1), Business/Finance (−21.3), and Computer/Math (−34.8). The Services/Production category saw large losses in Sales (−26.3), Office/Admin (−33.1), and Installation/Repair (−13.4); other categories showed only small gains and losses.




  • Among the largest States, 1 rose and 19 posted losses
  • Among the 50 States, 2 rose, 48 States declined


June Changes for States


In June, online labor demand was up in 2 States (see Table 3), and down in 48. All four regions experienced decreases.


The Midwest experienced a decrease of 53,300 in June (Table A). Illinois declined 13,700 to 174,800. Ohio declined 10,300 to 164,800. Wisconsin decreased 6,300 to 97,000. Michigan decreased 6,000 to 144,600 and Minnesota fell 4,300 to 128,600. Missouri decreased 3,000 to 85,400. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana decreased 5,600 to 76,700, and Kansas decreased 1,500 to 39,100. Iowa declined 3,200 to 58,100, Nebraska fell 700 to 33,700, and North Dakota decreased 400 to 15,400 (Table 3).


The Northeast declined 42,700 in June. Pennsylvania decreased 14,500 to 188,100, the largest change in the region. New York fell 12,200 to 266,100 and Massachusetts decreased 9,900 to 139,100. New Jersey declined 3,300 to 145,200. In the smaller States, Connecticut lost 1,700 to 57,200. Maine decreased 500 to 19,600 and New Hampshire fell 200 to 23,500. Rhode Island fell 500 to 14,700 and Vermont grew 300 to 10,500.


The West decreased 64,300 in June. California decreased 45,900 to 537,000. Colorado decreased 3,400 to 114,800 and Arizona fell 5,500 to 95,700. Washington increased 3,200 to 158,100. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon decreased 2,000 to 75,100 and Utah declined 2,200 to 57,600. Nevada decreased 1,800 to 44,500. Idaho decreased 100 to 23,800, and New Mexico decreased 300 to 25,600. Montana decreased 1,200 to 19,100 and Wyoming decreased 300 to 7,500.


The South decreased 68,700. Among the larger States in the region, Texas fell 16,800, to 323,400. Florida decreased 13,400 to 244,000 and Georgia decreased 6,300 to 150,600. North Carolina decreased 5,500 to 125,100. Maryland fell 5,600 to 96,900. Virginia decreased 4,400 to 150,000. Among the smaller States, Alabama decreased 1,800 to 44,900. Tennessee decreased 4,000 to 77,800 and Kentucky declined 3,000 to 45,700. South Carolina fell 2,300 to 57,900 and Oklahoma decreased 1,400 to 37,800. Louisiana fell 1,200 to 43,200 and Delaware decreased 600 to 15,300.


Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for May 2016, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 7 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: South Dakota (0.63), Colorado (0.82), New Hampshire (0.85), North Dakota (0.85), Minnesota (0.86), Nebraska (0.89), and Utah (0.96). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (3.06), Alabama (2.83), Mississippi (2.75), and West Virginia (2.59), which had more than two 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, 1 rose, 2 were constant, and 49 metro areas declined (Table 5)


Metro Area Changes

In June, labor demand rose in 1 of the 52 largest metro areas, remained constant in 2, and fell in 49.


The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Chicago (−9,300) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (−3,800) in the Midwest; Los Angeles (−15,800) and San Francisco (12,300) in the West; Dallas (-7,100) and Washington DC (-5,000) in the South; and New York (−13,900) and Boston (−7,800) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).


The West decreased 64,300 in June. Los Angeles decreased 15,800 to 160,300. San Francisco fell 12,300 to 109,400. Seattle-Tacoma increased 1,100 to 101,900 and Phoenix decreased 5,200 to 66,400. Denver fell 1,900 to 68,000.  San Jose decreased 3,700to 52,300.  San Diego decreased 2,800 to 47,300. Portland decreased 2,100 to 46,400. Sacramento decreased 2,500 to 28,400 and Salt Lake City decreased 1,700 to 32,600. Honolulu decreased 400 to 13,500.


The South decreased 68,700. Dallas decreased 7,100 to 107,000 and Washington, DC decreased 5,000 to 148,100. Atlanta decreased 4,500 to 98,900 and Baltimore decreased 3,500 to 50,000. Houston decreased 3,200 to 64,900 and Miami fell 3,900 to 68,300. San Antonio fell 2,100 to 29,100. Tampa decreased 2,500 to 45,200 and Charlotte decreased 2,300 to 35,000. Birmingham decreased 300 to 13,300. New Orleans remained constant at 15,900. Louisville decreased 1,900 to 18,300 and Nashville decreased 1,900 to 31,000.


The Northeast declined 42,700 in June. New York declined 13,900 to 259,000. Boston decreased 7,800 to 107,600 and Philadelphia fell 7,700 to 92,400. Pittsburgh dropped 3,000 to 37,300. Hartford fell 1,300 to 22,500. Buffalo decreased 500 to 16,600 and Providence fell 900 to 20,000. Rochester remained constant at 13,700.


The Midwest experienced a decrease of 53,300. Chicago decreased 9,300 to 136,700. Minneapolis-St. Paul decreased 3,800 to 89,100. Detroit declined 2,700 to 68,100. St. Louis decreased 2,000 to 42,600 and Milwaukee decreased 2,400 to 28,000. Columbus fell 2,400 to 35,300 and Cincinnati decreased 2,800 to 35,600. Cleveland declined 1,900 to 30,400. Kansas City decreased 1,300 to 38,000 and Indianapolis lost 2,000 to 29,100.


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), 10 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: Salt Lake City (S/D rate of 0.68), San Jose (0.71), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.72), San Francisco (0.77), Denver (0.77), Washington, DC (0.79), Boston (0.84), Austin (0.88), and Nashville (0.93) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Seattle-Tacoma (1.0), Honolulu (1.03) Columbus (1.15), and Portland (1.16).


In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (over 3 unemployed for every opening) as well as Houston (over 2 unemployed for every opening). In 45 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, one of the largest ten online job categories posted increases (Table C)


Occupational Changes for the Month of June

In June, one of the largest ten online job categories posted increases.

Computer and mathematical science ads decreased 34,800 to 512,900. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.18, i.e. over 5 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker (see Table C and Table 7). Management ads decreased 24,100 to 405,700. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 0.91, i.e. about 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.  


Business and finance ads decreased 21,300 to 270,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.57, i.e. over 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker. Sales and related ads decreased 26,300 to 483,500. Their supply/demand rate is 1.63, i.e. over 1 unemployed per opening.


Office and administrative support ads declined 33,100 to 488,300. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.36, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening. Installation ads declined 13,400 to 173,300. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.06, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.


Food Preparation and serving related ads increased 3,300 to 248,000. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 2.48, more than 2 unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.



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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Release Dates for 2016

August 3
August 31
October 5
November 2
November 30

The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3 at 10:00 AM ET.

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232


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