The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)

This data series provides timely monthly measures of labor demand (advertised vacancies) at the national, regional, state, and metropolitan area levels.

Online Job Ads Decreased 45,800 in June

05 Jul. 2017

  • Following the May increase, HWOL registered a small loss in June
  • All four regions showed losses
  • Most occupations showed losses over the month

Download the complimentary National Historical Table.

Online advertised vacancies decreased 45,800 to 4,763,400 in June, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The May Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.43 unemployed for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 2.1 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was approximately 6.9 million in May.

The Professional occupational category saw losses in Healthcare Practitioners (-27.7), Business and Financial Operations
(-16.3), and Computer and Math (-11.5). The Services/Production occupational category saw gains in Food Preparation (23.3) and Transportation (6.3) and losses in Office and Administrative Support (-8.8).

NOTE: Recently, the HWOL Data Series has experienced a declining trend in the number of online job ads that may not reflect broader trends in the U.S. labor market. Based on changes in how job postings appear online, The Conference Board is reviewing its HWOL methodology to ensure accuracy and alignment with market trends.


  • Among the largest States, 4 of the 20 States increased
  • Among the 50 States, 12 increased, 34 declined, and 4 were constant
    (See pdf Table A)

June Changes for States

In June, online labor demand grew in 12 States and declined in 34 States, while 4 remained constant. All four regions experienced decreases.

The Midwest experienced a decrease of 5,900 in June (Table A). Illinois fell 800 to 184,400 and Michigan decreased 3,400 to 144,300. Ohio decreased 400 to 165,300. Minnesota increased 2,000 to 133,800. Wisconsin increased 1,000 to 106,100 and Missouri decreased 1,700 to 101,200. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana decreased 700 to 81,500 and Iowa decreased 200 to 57,200. Nebraska remained constant at 29,300 and South Dakota fell 200 to 11,200. Kansas decreased 500 to 39,000 (Table 3).

The Northeast decreased 11,500 in June. New Jersey decreased 200 to 153,500. New York decreased 6,500 to 281,200. Massachusetts decreased 1,200 to 144,100. Pennsylvania decreased 2,100 to 201,000. In the smaller States, Connecticut fell 1,700 to 70,700. Maine increased 400 to 17,300 and New Hampshire decreased 500 to 24,000. Rhode Island decreased 200 to 15,700 and Vermont fell 600 to 10,800.

The West decreased 3,100 in June. California increased 400 to 549,700 and Washington decreased 3,900 to 152,100. Colorado decreased 2,500 to 119,200. Arizona decreased 600 to 96,300. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon increased 1,800 to 72,600. Utah increased 700 to 47,100. Nevada decreased 1,000 to 46,300. Idaho grew 100 to 22,600 and New Mexico remained constant at 24,800. Montana remained constant at 19,700 and Hawaii decreased 200 to 19,800.

The South decreased 16,300 in June. Among the larger States in the region, Florida decreased 7,500 to 248,300. Texas decreased 8,800 to 314,400. Virginia fell 1,400 to 151,200. Georgia decreased 1,600 to 150,300. Maryland increased 600 to 99,900. North Carolina fell 2,300 to 138,400.Among the smaller States, Tennessee decreased 500 to 80,900 and South Carolina increased 600 to 63,400. Alabama remained constant at 48,700. Kentucky increased 100 to 43,400 and Oklahoma increased 100 to 39,800. Louisiana fell 100 to 41,800 and Delaware decreased 100 to 16,200.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for May 2017, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 8 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: Colorado (0.55), North Dakota (0.69), Minnesota (0.86), New Hampshire (0.90), Iowa (0.92), Wisconsin (0.92), Hawaii (0.96), and Vermont (0.96). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (2.89), New Mexico (2.49) and Mississippi (2.43) 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, 3 of the 20 largest metro areas rose
  • Among the 52 metro areas, 13 rose, 37 declined, and 2 was constant
    (See pdf Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In June, labor demand rose in 26 metro areas, declined in 23 metro areas, and 3 remained constant. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Detroit (-2,200) and St. Louis (-1,700) in the Midwest; Los Angeles (-4,200) and Seattle-Tacoma (-3,100) in the West; Miami (-2,100) and Orlando (-1,600) in the South; and New York (-4,700) and Philadelphia (-1,800) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West decreased 3,100 in June. Los Angeles decreased 4,200 to 164,800 and Seattle-Tacoma fell 3,100 to 102,400. San Francisco increased 1,000 to 108,500. Denver decreased 2,200 to 69,800 and San Jose increased 1,100to 55,500. Phoenix decreased 600 to 66,900 and Portland grew 900 to 47,200. Sacramento fell 200 to 28,900 and Salt Lake City increased 300 to 24,800. Honolulu decreased 500 to 12,600 and Las Vegas fell 400 to 29,300.

The South decreased 16,300 in June. Miami decreased 2,100 to 67,300 and Orlando decreased 1,600 to 35,000.  Washington DC fell 1,500 to 146,000. Dallas fell 800 to 108,500 and Atlanta decreased 300 to 101,900. Houston decreased 900 to 62,900. Tampa decreased 1,400 to 44,900 and Birmingham fell 100 to 13,900. Baltimore decreased 100 to 53,000. Charlotte increased 200 to 46,700 and San Antonio fell 700 to 28,200. Nashville decreased 100 to 35,600. New Orleans fell 200 to 15,800. Louisville increased 400 to 17,900.

The Northeast decreased 11,500 in June. New York decreased 4,700 to 289,900 and Boston fell 1,400 to 110,900. Philadelphia decreased 1,800 to 99,300. Pittsburgh decreased 1,000 to 39,700. Providence decreased 500 to 20,700. Buffalo remained constant at 17,000. Hartford decreased 1,300 to 27,400 and Rochester decreased 400 to 14,100.

The Midwest experienced a decrease of 5,900 in June. Detroit decreased 2,200 to 71,400 and St. Louis fell 1,700 to 49,000. Chicago decreased 400 to 147,700. Minneapolis-St. Paul increased 300 to 93,600. Columbus decreased 300 to 36,200 and Cincinnati decreased 700 to 34,900. Kansas City decreased 600 to 43,000 and Cleveland fell 400 to 31,000. Milwaukee increased 700 to 33,400. Indianapolis decreased 700 to 32,100.

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 April’s data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 10 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: Denver (S/D rate of 0.48), San Jose (0.69), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.73), Seattle-Tacoma (0.74), San Francisco (0.83), Washington, DC (0.87), Salt Lake City (0.88), Milwaukee (0.90), Boston (0.92), and Honolulu (0.97) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Indianapolis (1.00) and Nashville (1.01).

In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (over 3 unemployed for every opening) as well as Houston (over 3 unemployed for every opening). In 44 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, seven of the largest ten online occupational categories posted decreases
    (See pdf Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of June

In June, seven of the largest ten online occupational categories posted decreases.

Healthcare practitioners and technical ads decreased 27,700 to 614,700. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.23, i.e. over 4 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker (see Table C and Table 7).

Computer and mathematical science ads decreased 11,500 to 530,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.19, i.e. over 5 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker.

Business and finance ads decreased 16,300 to 282,300. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.60, i.e. over 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.

Food preparation and serving related ads increased 23,300 to 231,000. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 3.02, more than 3 unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Office and administrative support ads decreased 8,800 to 498,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.32, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.

Transportation and material moving ads increased 6,300 to 305,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.90, more than 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.


HWOL 2017 Annual Revision

With the February 2017 press release, the HWOL program has incorporated its annual revision, which helps ensure the accuracy and consistency of the HWOL time series. This year’s annual revision includes updates to the job board coverage, a revision of the historical data from May 2005 forward, an update of the Metropolitan Statistical area definitions to 2015 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) county-based MSA definitions, and the annual update of the seasonal adjustment factors.

Special Note

Recently, the HWOL Data Series has experienced a declining trend in the number of online job ads that may not reflect broader trends in the U.S. labor market. Based on changes in how job postings appear online, The Conference Board is reviewing its HWOL methodology to ensure accuracy and alignment with market trends.

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

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membershipand research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizationswith 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 Analytics, a CEB Company

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 2017

August 2, 2017
August 30, 2017
October 4, 2017
November 1, 2017
December 6, 2017

The next release is Wednesday, August 2 at 10 AM.

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232


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Download related PDFs

Press Release
With graph and summary table

National Historical Table (Complimentary)

Technical Notes
Underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs