The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)

Online Labor Demand Increased 172,300 in October

04 Nov. 2015

  • October increase offsets the smaller September loss
  • Most States saw increases, with large gains in Ohio, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania
  • Most MSAs also saw gains

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Online advertised vacancies increased 172,300 to 5,452,500 in October, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The September Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.50 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 8.0 million in September.

“Labor demand for 2015 continues to follow the 2014 pattern of high monthly demand levels with modest net growth,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director of Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research at The Conference Board. “The strong monthly demand level continues to help reduce the number of unemployed and maintain a positive outlook for the US labor market.”

In October, the Services/Production category saw gains in most areas, including Transportation (+48.1), Sales (+21.1), Installation/Repair (+12.9) and Food (+12.1). The Professional category was mixed with gains in Healthcare (+5.9), Arts/Media (+4.4) and Business/Finance (+3.9) but losses in Computer/Math (−5.3) and Community/Social Services (−2.4).


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.




  • All of the largest States posted gains in October
  • Among the 50 States, 45 States rose, 4 declined, and 1 held constant


October Changes for States

In October, online labor demand was up in 45 States (see Table 3), down in 4, and held constant in 1. All four regions experienced increases.

The Midwest experienced an increase of 51,600 in October (Table A). Missouri increased 2,400 to 92,700. Michigan rose 5,300 to 185,200. Illinois gained 300 to 212,700. Ohio rose 17,400 to 212,200. Wisconsin increased 8,500 to 120,800 and Minnesota rose 3,600 to 134,400. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana rose 5,100 to 94,100, and Kansas gained 1,100 to 46,900. Iowa increased 2,000 to 66,900, Nebraska rose 500 to 40,100, and North Dakota remained constant at 17,800 (Table 3).

The Northeast increased 30,400 in October. Pennsylvania rose 11,600, to 231,200, the largest change in the region. New York gained 8,400 to 327,200. Massachusetts gained 800 to 170,800. New Jersey rose 700 to 160,200. In the smaller States, Connecticut gained 1,700 to 78,400. Vermont fell 300 to 12,500 and New Hampshire rose 1,000 to 26,500. Rhode Island increased 200 to 20,800 and Maine fell 600 to 23,800.

The West increased 30,400 in October. California increased 5,700 to 625,700. Washington rose 6,200 to 138,600. Arizona followed, with an increase of 3,700 to 104,700. Colorado gained 400 to 135,700. Among the smaller States in theWest, Utah gained 800 to 63,400. Idaho rose 600 to 27,000, New Mexico gained 1,500 to 29,800, and Oregon rose 2,600 to 80,700. Nevada increased 2,400 to 47,600 and Hawaii gained 600 to 19,200. Montana improved 1,100 to 21,400.

The South experienced the largest increase of 70,900. Among larger States in the region, Texas rose 15,100, to 391,100, the largest change in the region. Florida gained 12,700 to 280,300. Georgia increased 3,100 to 159,000. North Carolina increased 3,300 to 146,800. Virginia gained 3,400 to 155,400. Maryland gained 600 to 109,400. Among the smaller States, Alabama rose 2,900 to 57,700; Louisiana rose 2,500 to 53,000; and Tennessee increased 6,300 to 95,600. Both Kentucky increased 4,300 to 58,400 and Mississippi increased 4,200 to 30,100. South Carolina increased 2,400 to 68,000. Oklahoma increased 2,000 to 43,100 and Delaware rose 300 to 19,200.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for September 2015, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 9 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: North Dakota (0.65), Nebraska (0.73), Colorado (0.82), Utah (0.85), South Dakota (0.85), Minnesota (0.88), Iowa (0.94), Massachusetts (.96), and New Hampshire (.99). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were West Virginia (3.03) and Mississippi (2.97) where there were nearly three unemployed workers for every job opening, and Louisiana (2.55) and Alabama (2.36), 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 October, 44 metro areas rose, 7 declined, and 1 remained constant (Baltimore) (Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In October, labor demand rose in 44 of the 52 largest metro areas, fell in 7, and remained unchanged in 1 (Baltimore). The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Cincinnati (+2,500) and Milwaukee (+2,400) in the Midwest; Phoenix (+3,400) and Los Angeles (+2,600) in the West; Dallas (+4,000) and Miami (+2,600) in the South; and Pittsburgh (+3,400) and Philadelphia (+2,900) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West rose 30,400. San Francisco fell 400 to 132,000. Los Angeles increased 2,600 to 188,200. San Jose fell 100 to 59,000. San Diego gained 1,400 to 51,300. Denver fell 400 to 78,000. Seattle-Tacoma rose 2,500 to 93,000. Riverside lost 800 to 36,100. Phoenix added 3,400 to 72,800. Salt Lake City inched up 300 to 37,400, and Portland increased 500 to 48,800.

The South had the biggest increase of 70,900. Houston gained 1,300 to 81,500 and Atlanta gained 1,000 to 105,200. Baltimore remained constant at 58,000 and Washington, DC grew 800 to 159,700. New Orleans increased 400 to 18,900 and Dallas rose 4,000 to 128,200. Miami gained 2,600 to 80,900. Oklahoma City rose 700 to 17,500 and Tampa fell 700 to 46,900. San Antonio grew 1,600 to 32,800 while Orlando increased 1,800 to 35,900.

The Northeast increased 30,400. Philadelphia gained 2,900 to 112,500. New York rose 600 to 300,700 while Boston fell 600 to 128,100. Pittsburgh had the largest gain in the region of 3,400 to 44,900. Buffalo fell 100 to 22,900 while Rochester gained 600 to 19,600. Hartford gained 1,600 to 31,500, while Providence gained 1,200 to 29,200.

The Midwest gained 51,600. Cincinnati gained 2,500 to 42,000 and Milwaukee gained 2,400 to 33,600. Minneapolis-St. Paul gained 2,200 to 92,700. Columbus added 1,800 to 42,500. Cleveland gained 1,600 to 38,900 and Chicago inched up 100 to 165,700. Kansas City added 500 to 40,500 and St. Louis gained 600 to 44,700. Indianapolis gained 1,500 to 33,000.

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), 10 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: Salt Lake City (S/D rate of 0.57), Denver (0.68), San Jose (0.69), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.70), San Francisco (0.73), Austin (.74), Boston (0.81), Washington, DC (0.89), Seattle-Tacoma (0.93), and Columbus (.94) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Dallas (1.09), Hartford (1.10), and Cincinnati (1.10).

In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (over 3 unemployed for every opening) as well as Las Vegas and Memphis (over 2 unemployed for every opening). In 47of 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 October, 2 of the largest online job categories posted decreases while 8 posted increases (Table C)


Occupational Changes for the Month of October

In October, 2 of the largest online job categories posted decreases while 8 posted increased.

Transportation had the largest rise in ads of 48,100 to 449,900. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 1.56, i.e. over one unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening. Sales and related ads rose 21,100 to 579,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.58, i.e. over one unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.

Office and Administrative Support ads inclined 10,400, to 570,600. Their supply/demand rate is 1.54, i.e. over one unemployed per opening. Food and preparation and serving related ads rose 12,100 to 240,100. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 3.05, i.e. three unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Computer and Mathematical Science ads fell 5,300 to 595,900. The supply/demand rate lies at .18, i.e. over 4 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker (see Table C and Table 7). Healthcare practitioners and technical ads rose 5,900 to 628,800. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at .18, i.e. about 4 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker. Management ads fell 1,400 to 494,400. The supply/demand rate lies at .77, i.e. about 1 advertised opening per unemployed 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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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:



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Release Dates for 2015

December 2

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232


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Download related PDFs

Press Release
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National Historical Table (Complimentary)

Technical Notes
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