The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL)

Online Labor Demand Rises 83,700 in July

05 Aug. 2015

  • Following a weak June, labor demand rises in July
  • Small increases spread across most States
  • Services/Production occupations rebound from June losses

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Online advertised vacancies rose 83,700 to 5,384,400 in July, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The June Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.57 unemployed for each advertised vacancy with a total of 3.0 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was 8.3 million in June.

“Demand has flattened over the past five months, with alternating monthly increases followed by decreases,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director, Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research. “Overall, 2015 has shown moderate gains averaging about 38,000 per month, largely due to the very strong January and February increases.”

In July, the Services/Production category rebounded with Office/Admin (+31,600), Food (+10,700), and Transportation (+14,200). The Professional category saw small gains and small losses across the various occupational groups with Education showing the largest gain (+4,300).  


  • 14 of the 20 largest States posted gains in July, and 6 declined
  • Among the 50 States, 38 States rose and 12 declined

July Changes for States

In July, online labor demand was up in 38 States (see Table 3) and down in 12. All four regions experienced increases.

The West experienced the largest July increase, 34,100 (Table A). California led the rise with a gain of 12,100 to 605,700. Washington rose 5,300 to 147,500. Arizona increased 4,100 to 106,400. Colorado fell 2,200 to 132,200. Among the smaller States in the West, Idaho gained 5,600 to 33,800, New Mexico rose 3,200 to 33,900, and Oregon rose 800 to 82,100. Utah and Hawaii increased 200 to 64,000 and 18,500 respectively. Nevada dropped 1,100 to 46,700, and Alaska declined 400 to 17,400 (Table 3).

The South experienced a July increase of 25,700. Among larger States in the region, Virginia had the largest increase, 5,800, to 155,900. Georgia rose 3,000 to 163,600. North Carolina gained 2,600 to 142,900. Florida inched up 800 to 273,900. Texas dropped 4,800 to 383,000. Maryland slipped 200 to 105,600. Among the smaller States, Alabama gained 4,900 to 61,300; Kentucky rose 2,100 to 56,900; and West Virginia increased 1,900 to 23,200. South Carolina and Mississippi rose 800 to 69,100 and 29,500 respectively. Louisiana dropped 600 to 56,000.

The Northeast rose 20,400. New York experienced the largest increase, 9,200, to 327,800. New Jersey rose 2,800 to 149,300. Massachusetts gained 2,400 to 168,400. Pennsylvania increased 1,600 to 214,400. In the smaller States, Connecticut increased 4,200 to 81,600; New Hampshire gained 2,000 to 27,200; Maine rose 1,000 to 26,100; and Rhode Island increased 700 to 22,100. Vermont lost 1,200 to 11,500.

The Midwest increased 5,200 in July. Wisconsin rose 3,200 to 117,100. Illinois increased 2,400 to 205,700. Missouri gained 2,300 to 94,900. Michigan declined 7,700 to 170,900. Ohio dropped 5,600 to 193,300. Minnesota slipped 300 to 132,500. Among the smaller States in the region, Nebraska gained 5,300 to 47,900, Indiana rose 1,600 to 88,700; and Kansas increased 1,500 to 48,300. South Dakota rose 800 to 20,500. Iowa fell 400 to 69,200, and North Dakota slipped 200 to 20,000.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for June 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: Nebraska (0.63), North Dakota (0.64), Utah (0.81), South Dakota (0.88), Minnesota (0.89), Montana (0.92), Iowa (0.92), Colorado (0.92), and Vermont (0.97). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Mississippi (2.88), where there were nearly three unemployed workers for every job opening, and West Virginia (2.70) and Louisiana (2.50), 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, 15 metro areas rose, 34 declined, and 3 remained constant (Boston, Richmond, and Milwaukee) (Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In July, labor demand was up in 15 of the 52 largest metro areas, down in 34, and unchanged in three (Boston, Richmond, and Milwaukee). The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Detroit (−5,300) and Chicago (−3,000) in the Midwest; Denver (−4,500) and Phoenix(−4,200) in the West; Houston (−3,300) and Dallas (−2,400) in the South; and Philadelphia (1,700) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West experienced the largest July increase, 34,100. San Jose gained 2,300 to 55,900. Los Angeles increased 1,100 to 176,200. San Francisco rose 700 to 119,200. Denver declined 4,500 to 73,600. Phoenix fell 4,200 to 66,700. San Diego dropped 3,200 to 46,100. Seattle-Tacoma lost 800 to 91,200. Sacramento lost 1,500 to 28,500, Salt Lake City fell 1,200 to 35,100, and Portland dropped 700 to 49,300.

The South rose 25,700. Washington, DC inched up 200 to 158,100. Houston declined 3,300 to 82,900. Dallas decreased 2,400 to 120,400. Baltimore lost 1,000 to 55,000. Atlanta decreased 700 to 103,400. Miami fell 600 to 74,100. Virginia Beach rose 400 to 22,500, and Tampa inched up 300 to 49,000. San Antonio dropped 2,100 to 29,600, Orlando fell 1,500 to 33,700, Memphis fell 1,200 to 17,500, and Nashville decreased 1,000 to 34,300.

The Northeast increased 20,400. Philadelphia gained 1,700 to 102,800. New York rose 1,000 to 289,700. Boston remained constant at 126,100. Buffalo rose 1,900 to 24,800, Providence increased 800 to 28,900, and Rochester increased 300 to 19,100. Pittsburgh declined 1,100 to 40,900, and Hartford dropped 300 to 31,100.

The Midwest increased 5,200. Detroit declined 5,300 to 77,100. Chicago fell 3,000 to 151,800. Minneapolis-St. Paul decreased 2,600 to 88,100. Cleveland dropped 1,600 to 34,700. Columbus fell 1,500 to 39,100. Kansas City and Indianapolis declined 900 to 40,900 and 31,100 respectively. St. Louis fell 400 to 44,200, and Cincinnati slipped 300 to 39,700. Milwaukee remained constant at 31,300.

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 June data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), nine major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: Salt Lake City (S/D rate of 0.56), Austin (0.73), Minneapolis–St. Paul (0.77), Denver (0.79), San Jose (0.80), San Francisco (0.86), Boston (0.88), Seattle-Tacoma (0.91), and Washington, DC (0.95) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Columbus (1.02), Hartford (1.05), and Dallas (1.07).

In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (nearly 4 unemployed for every opening) as well as Los Angeles and Las Vegas (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, 5 of the largest online job categories posted increases while 4 posted decreases and one remained constant (Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of July

In July, 5 of the largest online job categories posted increases while 4 posted decreases and one (Installation, Maintenance, and Repair) remained constant. Office and Administrative Support ads saw the largest gain, 31,600, to 611,800 due to increases in bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants. Their supply/demand rate is 1.42, i.e. about one unemployed per opening. Transportation and Material Moving ads rose 14,200 to 408,500. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 1.73, i.e. about two unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening. Food Preparation and Serving-Related ads gained 10,700 to 241,100 due to gains in first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers and combined food preparation and serving workers including fast food. The supply/demand rate lies at 2.96, i.e. nearly three unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Construction and Extraction declined 3,200 to 133,400 due to drops in demand for first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, and also construction laborers. The supply/demand rate for these occupations is 4.92, i.e. five 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:

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Release Dates for 2015

September 2
September 30
November 4
December 2

The next release is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2 at 10:00 AM ET

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232


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