The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)

Online Labor Demand Increased 156,800 in July

03 Aug. 2016

  • The July gain offsets much of the June loss of 226,700
  • Large gains for California, Texas, New York, and Florida
  • Widespread gains across most occupational categories

  Download the complimentary National Historical Table 


Online advertised vacancies increased 156,800 to 4,814,300 in July, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine®(HWOL) Data Series,released today. The June Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.67 unemployed for each advertised vacancy with a total of 3.1 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was approximately 7.9 million in June.

“The first half of 2016 has shown a substantial drop in the level of online advertised vacancies,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “July’s gain is a positive sign. However, recovery from earlier losses will require continued improvements throughout the rest of 2016.”

In July, virtually all major occupational categories saw increases. The Professional category saw strong gains in Healthcare (+37.3), Computer (+15.8), Business/Finance (+7.8), and Management (+6.1). The Services/Production category saw strong gains in Installation/Repair (+15.2), Sales (+13.9), Transportation (+12.9), and Office/Admin (+11.3).




  • Among the largest States, 19 rose and 1 posted a loss
  • Among the 50 States, 42 rose, 7 States declined, 1 was constant

July Changes for States

In July, online labor demand was up in 42 States (see Table 3), down in 7, and remained constant in 1. All four regions experienced increases.

The Northeast increased 35,100 in July (Table A). New York grew 9,400 to 275,500, and the total change over the last two months is −2,800. Massachusetts increased 7,800 to 146,900. Pennsylvania increased 6,200 to 194,300. New Jersey increased 2,500 to 147,700. In the smaller States, Connecticut grew 7,600 to 64,800. Maine increased 2,400 to 22,000 and New Hampshire grew 700 to 24,200. Rhode Island grew 500 to 15,200 and Vermont grew 300 to 10,900.

The Midwest experienced an increase of 43,100 in July. Missouri increased 14,200 to 99,600. Illinois grew 6,800 to 181,600 and the total change over the past two months is −6,900. Michigan increased 4,600 to 149,200 and the total change over the past two months is −1,400. Ohio increased 3,900 to 168,800. Wisconsin increased 4,200 to 101,200 and Minnesota grew 2,400 to 131,000. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana increased 3,700 to 80,400, and Kansas decreased 1,100 to 38,100. Iowa increased 2,400 to 60,500, Nebraska grew 1,700 to 35,400, and North Dakota inched up 100 to 15,500 (Table 3).

The West increased 43,000 in July. California increased 22,100 to 559,100 and the total change over the past two months -23,800. Colorado increased 6,600 to 121,400 and the total change over the past 2 months is 3,200. Washington increased 5,300 to 163,400 and Arizona increased 2,600 to 98,300. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon increased 1,800 to 76,900 and the total change over the past two months is &minus200. Utah declined 1,000 to 56,600. Nevada increased 500 to 44,900. Idaho decreased 100 to 23,600, and New Mexico increased 800 to 26,400. Montana increased 1,300 to 20,400 and Wyoming decreased 100 to 7,400. 

The South increased 44,800 in July. Among the larger States in the region, Texas grew 15,700, to 339,100. The total change over the past two months is *1,000. Florida increased 9,200 to 253,100 and the total change over the past two months is −4,200. Georgia decreased 4,600 to 146,000. North Carolina increased 4,100 to 129,200. Virginia increased 3,100 to 153,100.  Maryland grew 3,900 to 100,700. Among the smaller States, Alabama increased 800 to 45,700. Tennessee increased 4,400 to 82,100 and Kentucky increased 2,000 to 47,700. South Carolina grew 1,700 to 59,700 and Oklahoma increased 500 to 38,200. Louisiana fell 400 to 42,800 and Delaware increased 700 to 16,000.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for June 2016, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 6 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: South Dakota (0.69), North Dakota (0.87), New Hampshire (0.89), Minnesota (0.91), Nebraska (0.91) and Colorado (0.92). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (3.12), Mississippi (2.94), Alabama (2.90), and West Virginia (2.58), 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 July, 50 rose, 1 metro area declined, and 1 was constant (Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In July, labor demand rose in 50 metro areas, 1 fell, and 1 was constant. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: St. Louis (5,300) and Chicago (5,000) in the Midwest; Los Angeles (7,300) and Denver (4,200) in the West; Dallas (7,100) and Washington D.C. (5,500) in the South; and New York (13,100) and Boston (5,100) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West increased 43,000 in July. Los Angeles increased 7,300 to 167,600 and Denver increased 4,200 to 72,200. Seattle-Tacoma increased 3,900 to 105,800 and San Francisco grew 2,500 to 111,900. San Jose increased 2,100 to 54,400. Phoenix increased 3,200 to 69,600. San Diego increased 2,200 to 49,600. Portland increased 1,400 to 47,800. Sacramento increased 200 to 28,700 and Salt Lake City increased 500 to 33,200. Honolulu increased 600 to 14,100.

The South increased 44,800 in July. Dallas increased 7,100 to 114,200 and Washington, DC increased 5,500 to 153,600. Baltimore increased 2,400 to 52,400 and Miami grew 1,700 to 70,000. Atlanta decreased 2,600 to 96,300. Houston increased 1,600 to 66,500 and San Antonio grew 2,200 to 31,300. Tampa increased 2,400 to 47,600 and Charlotte increased 900 to 36,000. Birmingham increased 700 to 14,100. New Orleans inched up 100 to 16,000. Louisville increased 600 to 18,900 and Nashville increased 2,000 to 33,000.

The Northeast increased 35,100 in July. New York increased 13,100 to 272,100 and Boston grew 5,100 to 112,800. Philadelphia grew 4,500 to 96,900. Pittsburgh increased 1,400 to 38,700 and Buffalo increased 600 to 17,200. Hartford increased 2,700 to 25,200 and Rochester increased 300 to 14,000. Providence grew 1,100 to 21,100.

The Midwest experienced an increase of 43,100 in July. Chicago increased 5,000 to 141,800 and St. Louis increased 5,300 to 47,800. Minneapolis-St. Paul increased 2,700 to 91,700. Detroit increased 2,200 to 70,200 and Milwaukee increased 1,400 to 29,400. Columbus inched up 200 to 35,500 and Cincinnati increased 1,200 to 36,800. Cleveland grew 1,400 to 31,800. Kansas City increased 4,000 to 42,100 and Indianapolis grew 1,700 to 30,700.

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’s data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 9 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), Denver (0.77), San Francisco (0.77), Washington, DC (0.78), Boston (0.84), Austin (0.88), and Nashville (0.93) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Seattle-Tacoma (1.00), Honolulu (1.03), Columbus (1.15), Portland (1.16), and Kansas City (1.17).

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

Occupational Changes for the Month of July

In July, all of the largest ten online job categories posted increases.

Healthcare practitioners and technical ads increased 37,300 to 652,000. The supply/demand rate for these occupations 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 increased 15,800 to 528,700. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.19, i.e. over 5 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker.

Business and finance ads increased 7,800 to 278,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.97, i.e. more than 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker. Management ads increased 6,100 to 411,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.02, i.e. 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.

Installation, maintenance, and repair ads increased 15,200 to 188,400. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.27, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening. Sales and related ads increased 13,900 to 497,400. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 1.71, more than 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.

Office and administrative support ads grew 11,300 to 499,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.52, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening. Healthcare support ads increased 7,900 to 123,600. Their supply/demand rate is 1.15, i.e. over 1 unemployed per 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

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 2016

August 31
October 5
November 2
November 30

The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 at 10:00 AM ET.

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232


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Press Release
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National Historical Table (Complimentary)

Technical Notes
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