- The small gain in March follows the February decrease
- Most States showed small gains
- Most occupations showed gains over the month
Online advertised vacancies increased 102,000 to 4,639,700 in March, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The February Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.66 unemployed for each advertised vacancy with a total of 2.9 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was approximately 7.5 million in February.
The Professional occupational category saw gains in Computer/Math (16.9), Business and Finance (12.4), and Healthcare Practitioners (7.7). The Services/Production occupational category saw gains in Sales (21.7), and losses in Transportation (-9.3).
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.
REGIONAL AND STATE HIGHLIGHTS
- Among the largest States, 18 increased and 2 declined
- Among the 50 States, 32 increased, 15 declined, and 3 remained constant
March Changes for States
In March, online labor demand grew in 32 States, declined in 15 States, and 3 remained constant. All four regions experienced increases.
The Midwest experienced an increase of 12,900 in March (Table A). Ohio increased 6,100 to 161,900. Minnesota increased 1,800 to 126,900. Michigan decreased 3,400 to 141,600 and Illinois grew 3,300 to 175,900. Wisconsin increased 2,500 to 100,500. Missouri increased 900 to 100,100. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana increased 3,300 to 78,600 and Iowa decreased 1,500 to 54,700. Nebraska declined 500 to 30,400 and South Dakota grew 200 to 16,900. Kansas decreased 200 to 39,100 (Table 3).
The Northeast increased 9,300 in March. Massachusetts increased 4,000 to 142,600. Pennsylvania increased 1,200 to 200,500. New Jersey increased 1,300 to 146,300. New York increased 700 to 281,100. In the smaller States, Connecticut grew 1,700 to 72,500. Maine decreased 200 at 17,300 and New Hampshire decreased 200 to 23,700. Rhode Island increased 200 to 14,800 and Vermont declined 100 to 11,000.
The West increased 30,100 in March. California increased 17,100 to 529,700 and Washington increased 3,600 to 150,000. Colorado increased 2,000 to 117,300. Arizona increased 2,000 to 92,500. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon increased 2,100 to 67,600. Utah increased 500 to 45,600. Nevada remained constant at 46,400. Idaho increased 900 to 22,800 and New Mexico increased 600 to 25,600. Montana grew 800 to 19,000 and Hawaii decreased 300 to 18,800.
The South increased 22,900 in March. Among the larger States in the region, Texas increased 14,000 to 313,600. Florida increased 6,600 to 242,600. North Carolina grew 5,600 to 136,700. Virginia grew 5,200 to 149,900. Maryland decreased 2,100 to 98,300. Georgia increased 1,600 to 146,300. Among the smaller States, Tennessee increased 1,500 to 78,200 and South Carolina increased 300 to 61,400. Alabama declined 300 to 47,500. Kentucky decreased 1,000 to 42,500 and Oklahoma decreased 100 to 38,000. Louisiana declined 1,300 to 41,800 and Delaware decreased 300 to 15,900.
Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for February 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 (0.73), South Dakota (0.77), North Dakota (0.77), New Hampshire (0.86), Massachusetts (0.89), Iowa (.95), Vermont (0.95), and Minnesota (0.96). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Alabama (2.86), Louisiana (2.82), and Mississippi (2.71), 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.
METRO AREA HIGHLIGHTS
- In March, among the 20 largest metro areas, 16 rose and 4 declined
- Among the 52 metro areas, 39 rose and 13 declined
Metro Area Changes
In March, labor demand rose in 39 metro areas and declined in 13 metro areas. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Chicago (2,600) and Cincinnati (1,400) in the Midwest; Los Angeles (3,100) and Seattle-Tacoma (2,100) in the West; Dallas (4,900) and Houston (2,600) in the South; and New York (-2,500) and Boston (2,300) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).
The West increased 30,100 in March. Los Angeles increased 3,100 to 160,800 and Seattle-Tacoma grew 2,100 to 102,600. San Francisco increased 1,200 to 102,300. Denver increased 500 to 68,200 and San Jose increased 2,000to 51,300. Phoenix increased 300 to 65,400 and Portland increased 800 to 43,500. Sacramento grew 900 to 28,200 and Salt Lake City increased 200 to 24,400. Honolulu decreased 300 to 12,600 and Las Vegas declined 900 to 30,100.
The South increased 22,900 in March. Dallas grew 4,900 to 107,700. Houston increased 2,600 to 60,500. Atlanta increased 1,500 to 98,300. Miami increased 2,300 to 67,100 and Washington DC declined 2,000 to 145,100. Tampa increased 700 to 44,400 and Austin decreased 600 to 37,600. Baltimore decreased 600 to 52,400. Charlotte increased 1,900 to 43,400 and San Antonio increased 200 to 29,700. Nashville increased 1,200 to 32,600. Birmingham decreased 500 to 13,400. New Orleans declined 1,200 to 15,300. Louisville increased 100 to 17,400.
The Northeast increased 9,300 in March. New York decreased 2,500 to 285,500 and Boston grew 2,300 to 109,500. Philadelphia increased 400 to 98,400 and Pittsburgh increased 900 to 39,000. Providence decreased 300 to 20,400. Buffalo grew 200 to 16,000. Hartford increased 500 to 28,100 and Rochester increased 200 to 14,000.
The Midwest experienced an increase of 12,900 in March. Chicago increased 2,600 to 139,400. Minneapolis-St. Paul increased 200 to 90,100. Columbus increased 1,400 to 35,200 and Cincinnati increased 1,400 to 35,300. Detroit decreased 900 to 69,900 and St. Louis declined 200 to 47,200. Kansas City increased 600 to 42,000 and Cleveland grew 100 to 29,500. Milwaukee increased 400 to 30,100. Indianapolis increased 1,200 to 30,600.
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 January’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 0.61), Salt Lake City (0.70), Boston (0.71), San Jose (0.72), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.76), Washington, DC (0.79), Seattle-Tacoma (0.80), San Francisco (0.84), Honolulu (0.90), and Austin (0.91) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Hartford (1.05) and Portland (1.07).
In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (over 3 unemployed for every opening) as well as Houston (more than 3 unemployed for every opening) and Miami (over 2 unemployed for every opening). In 47 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 March, eight of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases
Occupational Changes for the Month of March
In March, eight of the ten largest online occupational categories posted increases.
Computer and mathematical science ads increased 16,900 to 524,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.26, i.e. almost 4 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker (see Table C and Table 7).
Business and Financial ads increased 12,400 to 285,500. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.75, more than 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.
Healthcare practitioners and technical ads increased 7,700 to 591,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.25, i.e. over 4 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.
Sales and related ads increased 21,700 to 473,400. The supply/demand rate for these occupations lies at 1.58, more than 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.
Education, training, and library ads increased 10,800 to 162,100. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.56, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.
Transportation ads decreased 9,300 to 298,500. The supply/demand rate lies at 2.14, i.e. over 2 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.
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.
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 email@example.com or navigate to http://www.haver.com/contact.html. For HWOL data for detailed geographic areas and occupations not in the press release, please contact Jeanne.Shu@conference-board.org.
Release Dates for 2017
May 3, 2017
May 31, 2017
July 5, 2017
August 2, 2017
August 30, 2017
October 4, 2017
November 1, 2017
December 6, 2017
THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.