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Press Release / News
Online Job Ads Increased 81,500 in October
01 November, 2017

  • All four regions experienced gains led by the South
  • Most occupations showed gains over the month

Download the complimentary National Historical Table.

Online advertised vacancies increased 81,500 to 4,563,800 in October, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The September Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.52 unemployed for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 2.3 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was approximately 6.8 million in September.

The Professional occupational category saw gains in Management (8.5) and Business and Financial (6.7). The Services/Production occupational category saw gains in Transportation (32.1), Office and Administrative Support (15.7), and Food Preparation and Serving (11.0). 

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, 18 increased and 2 decreased
  • Among the 50 States, 40 increased, 8 declined and 2 were constant

October Changes for States

In October, online labor demand grew in 40 States, declined in 8 States, and was constant in 2 States. All four regions experienced increases.

The Midwest experienced an increase of 25,100 in October (Table A). Missouri increased 4,200 to 85,900 and Ohio increased 6,800 to 160,900. Illinois grew 6,400 to 179,600 and Michigan increased 2,800 to 135,100.  Minnesota increased 3,800 to 133,400 and Wisconsin increased 800 to 98,600. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana increased 2,000 to 77,600 and Iowa increased 800 to 54,500. Nebraska grew 400 to 28,000 and South Dakota increased 700 to 11,700. Kansas increased 800 to 34,200 (Table 3).

The Northeast increased 13,800 in October. New York increased 5,500 to 280,400. Pennsylvania increased 3,000 to 195,600. New Jersey increased 2,500 to 148,100. Massachusetts increased 1,500 to 135,100. In the smaller States, Connecticut increased 700 to 66,100. Maine decreased 100 to 16,200 and New Hampshire increased 400 to 22,700. Rhode Island increased 100 to 14,000 and Vermont fell 200 to 9,800.

The West increased 7,000 in October. California increased 10,700 to 531,200 and Washington decreased 7,900 to 138,800. Colorado increased 1,300 to 116,600. Arizona increased 800 to 88,000. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon increased 700 to 71,200. Utah decreased 100 to 45,600. Nevada decreased 800 to 42,800. Idaho fell 400 to 18,500 and New Mexico increased 200 to 23,700. Montana grew 100 to 18,900 and Hawaii increased 600 to 19,900.

The South increased 46,300 in October. Among the larger States in the region, Florida increased 19,200 to 240,300. Texas increased 13,200 to 313,400. North Carolina increased 1,200 to 128,100. Virginia grew 700 to 140,500. Georgia increased 3,100 to 141,700. Maryland decreased 400 to 93,300. Among the smaller States, Tennessee decreased 900 to 75,100 and South Carolina increased 2,000 to 57,200. Alabama grew 1,000 to 47,100. Kentucky increased 100 to 40,700 and Oklahoma increased 300 to 34,000. Louisiana increased 1,800 to 38,100 and Delaware increased 200 to 14,500.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for September 2017, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 5 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: Colorado (0.66), North Dakota (0.68), Minnesota (0.87), Hawaii (0.88) and New Hampshire (0.90). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (2.91), Mississippi (2.68), and Kentucky (2.63) 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, 19 of the 20 largest metro areas rose and 1 declined
  • Among the 52 metro areas, 45 rose, 4 declined, and 3 were constant (See pdf Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In October, labor demand rose in 45 metro areas, declined in 4 metro areas, and 3 remained constant. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Chicago (6,800) and St. Louis (2,500) in the Midwest; Seattle-Tacoma (-8,500) and Los Angeles (5,200) in the West; Houston (6,000) and Miami (6,200) in the South; and New York (7,600) and Boston (2,800) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West increased 7,000 in October. Seattle-Tacoma fell 8,500 to 89,200 and Los Angeles increased 5,200 to 160,800. San Francisco increased 3,200 to 105,500. Denver increased 1,300 to 68,900 and San Jose remained constant at 54,400. Riverside fell 200 to 31,100. Phoenix increased 1,600 to 63,200 and Portland grew 1,600 to 46,400. Sacramento increased 1,500 at 28,600 and Salt Lake City increased 100 to 24,400. Honolulu increased 500 to 13,800 and Las Vegas fell 300 to 26,700.

The South increased 46,300 in October. Miami increased 6,200 to 63,400 and Houston increased 6,000 to 64,300. Washington DC increased 3,700 to 140,300. Dallas grew 2,600 to 104,900 and Atlanta increased 3,700 to 96,000. Orlando increased 3,400 to 35,400. Charlotte increased 900 to 42,000. Tampa increased 3,200 to 42,700 and Birmingham increased 300 to 13,300. Baltimore increased 700 to 50,000. San Antonio grew 700 to 27,800. Nashville increased 300 to 33,000. New Orleans grew 900 to 14,500. Louisville increased 200 to 16,200.

The Northeast increased 13,800 in October. New York increased 7,600 to 288,600 and Boston grew 2,800 to 105,200. Philadelphia increased 2,600 to 95,300. Pittsburgh increased 800 to 40,400. Providence remained constant at 18,800. Buffalo increased 700 to 16,500. Hartford grew 500 to 26,200 and Rochester decreased 100 to 14,100.

The Midwest experienced an increase of 25,100 in October. Chicago increased 6,800 to 143,500. St. Louis grew 2,500 to 44,500 and Minneapolis-St. Paul increased 2,000 to 94,100. Detroit increased 1,500 to 65,100. Columbus increased 1,200 to 34,700 and Cincinnati increased 2,000 to 35,700. Kansas City increased 1,800 to 37,700 and Cleveland increased 1,500 to 30,300. Milwaukee increased 500 to 31,100. Indianapolis increased 500 to 29,700.

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 August’s data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 12 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: Denver (S/D rate of 0.56), San Jose (0.73), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.79), Nashville (0.84), Honolulu (0.87), Salt Lake City (0.91), Seattle-Tacoma (0.91), Washington, DC (0.91), San Francisco (0.93), Boston (0.97), Austin (0.97), and Milwaukee (0.99) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Detroit (1.05) and Hartford (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 and Cleveland (over 2 unemployed for every opening). In 46 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 October, eight of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases (See pdf Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of October

In October, eight of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases.

Management ads increased 8,500 to 380,300. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.09, i.e. over 1 job-seeker for every advertised available opening. (see Table C and Table 7).

Business and financial operations ads increased 6,700 to 272,200. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.91, i.e. over 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.

Education, training, and library ads increased 5,300 to 159,200. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.40, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.

Transportation ads increased 32,100 to 340,700. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.71, i.e. over 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.

Food preparation and serving related ads increased 11,00 to 226,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 2.15, i.e. over 2 unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Office and administrative support ads increased 15,700 to 481,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.68, i.e. over 1 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.

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

December 6, 2017

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232

Jonathan Liu
1 212 339 0257



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

Press Release
With supplemental data


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