The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)

Online Labor Demand Falls 144,300 in June

01 Jul. 2015

  • Weak June leaves the second quarter with a net loss
  • Large losses in the Services/Production occupational category in June
  • Note: Table 6 and MSA unemployment data in Table B are omitted until BLS issues revised seasonally adjusted MSA unemployment data

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Online advertised vacancies fell 144,300 to 5,300,700 in June, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series, released today. The May Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.59 unemployed for each advertised vacancy with a total of 3.2 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was 8.7 million in May.

“The first half of 2015 shows moderate growth with a strong first quarter partially offset by a weak second quarter,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director, Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research. “Overall employer demand for labor still continues at a very high level.”

In June, the Services/Production category saw large losses in Office/Admin (−32,100), Sales (−21,000), Installation/ Maintenance (−14,000), Construction (−12,700), and Food (−10,200) with only a small increase in Transportation (+6,800). While the Professional category also saw losses, it was much smaller than those in Services/Production with Healthcare showing a small gain (+1,600).


  • 18 of the 20 largest States posted losses in June, one gained, and one held constant
  • Among the 50 States, 39 States declined, 7 rose, and 4 held constant

June Changes for States

In June, online labor demand was up in 7 States (see Table 3), down in 39, and constant in 4. All four regions experienced decreases.

The West experienced the largest June decrease, 53,000 (Table A). California led the decline with a drop of 38,000 to 593,700. Washington and Arizona both decreased 3,200 to 142,200 and 102,200 respectively. Colorado fell 2,100 to 134,400. Among the smaller States in the West, Oregon fell 2,500 to 81,300; Alaska declined 1,300 to 17,700; and Nevada and Idaho both dropped 1,000 to 47,800 and 28,300 respectively. Utah lost 700 to 63,700. New Mexico and Hawaii both decreased 500 to 30,700 and 18,300 respectively (Table 3).

The Northeast dropped 40,600. New York experienced the largest decrease, 10,700, to 318,600. Pennsylvania decreased 8,400 to 212,800. Massachusetts fell 7,600 to 166,000. New Jersey dropped 1,100 to 146,400.

In the smaller States, Maine declined 6,700 to 25,100; Connecticut decreased 2,300 to 77,400; New Hampshire fell 1,600 to 25,200; Vermont lost 1,400 to 12,700; and Rhode Island dropped 1,300 to 21,400.

The South experienced a June decrease of 31,600. Among larger States in the region, Texas had the largest decrease, 14,100, to 387,800. Florida fell 10,800 to 273,100. North Carolina dropped 4,000 to 140,300. Georgia decreased 800 to 160,500. Maryland slipped 200 to 105,900. Among the smaller States, Louisiana declined 2,300 to 56,600; Kentucky fell 600 to 54,900; and West Virginia decreased 100 to 21,300. Mississippi rose 900 to 28,700; Alabama gained 600 to 56,400; and South Carolina rose 300 to 68,200.

The Midwest declined 14,500 in June. Illinois decreased 6,700 to 203,200. Wisconsin fell 5,700 to 113,900. Michigan declined 1,900 to 178,600. Missouri slipped 300 to 92,500. Minnesota inched up 200 to 132,800. Ohio held constant at 198,800. Among the smaller States in the region, Iowa decreased 1,300 to 69,600; Indiana fell 800 to 87,000; and North Dakota slipped 400 to 20,100. Nebraska and South Dakota held constant at 42,500 and 19,700 respectively. Kansas gained 300 to 46,800.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for May 2015, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 10 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: Nebraska (0.61), North Dakota (0.64), Utah (0.79), South Dakota (0.87), Vermont (0.88), Minnesota (0.88), Montana (0.90), Colorado (0.90), Iowa (0.91) and Massachusetts (0.97). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Mississippi (3.02), where there were more than three unemployed workers for every job opening, and West Virginia (2.64) and Louisiana (2.47), 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, 43 metro areas declined, 6 increased, and 3 remained constant (Kansas City, Memphis, and Virginia Beach) (Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In June, labor demand was down in 43 of the 52 largest metro areas, up in six, and unchanged in three (Kansas City, Memphis, and Virginia Beach). The MSAs with the largest decreases in each of the regions were: San Francisco (12,400) in the West; New York (7,700) in the Northeast; Chicago (4,700) in the Midwest; and Houston (4,300) in the South (See Table B and Table 5).

The West experienced the largest June decrease, 53,000. San Francisco fell 12,400 to 118,500. Los Angeles decreased 10,600 to 175,100. Phoenix and San Jose both fell 2,100 to 70,900 and 53,600 respectively. San Diego dropped 1,600 to 49,300. Seattle-Tacoma lost 1,100 to 92,100. Denver declined 300 to 78,100. Sacramento lost 2,100 to 29,900, Portland fell 1,400 to 50,000, and Salt Lake City slipped 500 to 36,300.

The Northeast decreased 40,600, reflecting a decrease of 7,700 in New York to 288,600. Boston lost 5,200 to 126,100. Philadelphia fell 1,600 to 101,100. Providence decreased 2,500 to 28,200; Pittsburgh declined 1,300 to 41,900; Hartford and Buffalo both dropped 400 to 31,500 and 22,900 respectively; and Rochester declined 300 to 18,800.

The South fell 31,600. Houston declined 4,300 to 86,200. Dallas decreased 3,600 to 122,800. Miami fell 3,400 to 74,600. Atlanta decreased 1,200 to 104,100. Washington, DC decreased 1,100 to 157,900. Baltimore lost 600 to 56,000. San Antonio dropped 1,100 to 31,700, Orlando fell 800 to 35,300, Tampa lost 500 to 48,700, and Nashville decreased 400 to 35,200. Virginia Beach and Memphis remained constant at 22,100 and 18,700 respectively.

The Midwest decreased 14,500. Chicago fell 4,700 to 154,800. Cleveland slipped 100 to 36,200. Detroit rose 800 to 82,400. Minneapolis-St. Paul rose 700 to 90,700. Milwaukee declined 1,800 to 31,400, and Columbus slipped 300 to 40,600. Cincinnati rose 800 to 40,000, St. Louis increased 600 to 44,500, and Indianapolis rose 100 to 32,000. Kansas City remained constant at 41,700.


  • In June, 8 of the largest online job categories posted decreases while 2 posted increases (Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of June

In June, 8 of the largest online job categories posted decreases while 2 posted increases. Office and Administrative Support ads saw the largest drop, 32,100, to 580,200 due to declines in bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, customer service representatives, and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants. Their supply/demand rate is 1.56, i.e. about two unemployed per opening. Sales and related ads dropped 21,000 to 558,300 due to losses in sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products, retail salespersons, and first-line supervisors of retail sales workers. Their supply/demand rate is 1.67, i.e. about two unemployed per opening. Installation, Maintenance, and Repair ads decreased 14,000 to 218,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.97, i.e. about one unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.

Food Preparation and Serving-Related ads declined 10,200 to 230,400. The supply/demand rate lies at 3.44, i.e. more than three unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening. Business and Financial Operations declined 9,300 to 328,800. Computer and Math ads decreased 7,300 to 588,200. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 0.12, i.e. about 8 advertised available openings for every job-seeker. Transportation ads rose 6,800 to 394,300. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 1.77, i.e. about two unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening. Healthcare Practitioners and Technical ads gained 1,600 in June to 603,100. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 0.34, i.e. about 2.9 advertised available openings for every job-seeker.


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,

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Release Dates for 2015

August 5
September 2
September 30
November 4
December 2

The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, August 5 at 10:00 AM ET

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232


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