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Press Release / News
Online Job Ads Increased 137,100 in November
06 December, 2017

  • Gains widespread across most States and MSAs
  • No occupations showed losses over the month

Download the complimentary National Historical Table.

Online advertised vacancies increased 137,100 to 4,700,900 in November, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The October Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.43 unemployed for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 2.0 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was approximately 6.5 million in October.

The Professional occupational category saw gains in Education, Training, and Library (15.9), Healthcare Practitioners and Technical (15.1), and Business and Financial (11.8). The Services/Production occupational category saw gains in Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance (6.4) and Food Preparation and Serving (5.9).  

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, 19 increased and 1 decreased
  • Among the 50 States, 45 increased and 5 declined 

November Changes for States

In November, online labor demand grew in 45 States and declined in 5 States. All four regions experienced increases.

The Northeast increased 16,700 in November (Table A). Pennsylvania increased 7,400 to 203,000. New York increased 3,900 to 284,300. New Jersey increased 3,500 to 151,600. Massachusetts increased 1,700 to 136,700. In the smaller States, Connecticut decreased 300 to 65,800. New Hampshire increased 1,300 to 23,900 and Maine increased 1,200 to 17,400. Rhode Island increased 400 to 14,400 and Vermont grew 300 to 10,100. (Table 3).

The West increased 15,400 in November. California increased 5,400 to 536,700 and Washington increased 2,000 to 140,900. Colorado increased 2,100 to 118,700. Arizona increased 3,200 to 91,200. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon increased 2,200 to 73,400. Utah decreased 800 to 46,400. Nevada decreased 300 to 42,400. Idaho grew 800 to 19,300 and New Mexico increased 800 to 24,500. Montana grew 700 to 19,500 and Hawaii remained constant at 19,900.

The Midwest experienced an increase of 48,500 in November. Illinois grew 7,200 to 186,800 and Michigan increased 19,900 to 155,000. Missouri increased 2,700 to 88,600 and Ohio increased 4,500 to 165,500.  Minnesota increased 300 to 133,600 and Wisconsin increased 2,500 to 101,100. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana increased 2,800 to 80,400 and Iowa increased 1,700 to 56,200. Nebraska grew 1,800 to 29,700 and South Dakota increased 1,400 to 13,100. Kansas increased 1,300 to 35,500.

The South increased 52,500 in November. Among the larger States in the region, Florida increased 14,300 to 254,600. Texas increased 11,100 to 324,500. North Carolina increased 5,800 to 133,900. Georgia increased 6,500 to 148,200. Virginia fell 200 to 140,200. Maryland increased 900 to 94,200. Among the smaller States, Tennessee increased 1,900 to 77,000 and South Carolina increased 3,000 to 60,200. Alabama grew 1,900 to 49,100. Kentucky increased 1,500 to 42,200 and Oklahoma increased 1,700 to 35,700. Louisiana increased 1,000 to 39,100 and Delaware increased 700 to 15,200.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for October 2017, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 7 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: North Dakota (0.69), Colorado (0.70), Hawaii (0.76), Minnesota (0.77), New Hampshire (0.89), Iowa (0.93), and Nebraska (0.97). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (2.63), Mississippi (2.54), and Kentucky (2.53) 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 November, 18 of the 20 largest metro areas rose and 2 declined
  • Among the 52 metro areas, 45 rose, 6 declined, and 1 was constant (See pdf Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In November, labor demand rose in 45 metro areas, declined in 6 metro areas, and 1 remained constant. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Detroit (10,300) and Chicago (5,900) in the Midwest; Phoenix (2,100) and Seattle-Tacoma (2,000) in the West; Miami (5,400) and Atlanta (4,300) in the South; and New York (6,800) and Pittsburgh (2,000) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West increased 15,400 in November. Seattle-Tacoma grew 2,000 to 91,200 and Phoenix increased 2,100 to 65,300. Los Angeles increased 1,800 to 162,600. San Francisco decreased 1,300 to 104,200. Denver increased 1,700 to 70,700 and San Jose grew 400 to 54,700. Riverside increased 400 to 31,500. Portland grew 700 to 47,100. Sacramento increased 500 at 29,200 and Salt Lake City increased 700 to 25,100. Honolulu remained constant at 13,700 and Las Vegas grew 500 to 27,200.

The South increased 52,500 in November. Miami increased 5,400 to 68,700 and Houston increased 4,100 to 68,400. Washington DC increased 1,700 to 142,000. Dallas grew 3,300 to 108,200 and Atlanta increased 4,300 to 100,300. Orlando increased 2,200 to 37,600. Charlotte increased 2,800 to 44,800. Tampa increased 900 to 43,600 and Birmingham increased 700 to 14,000. Baltimore increased 900 to 50,900. San Antonio grew 1,000 to 28,700. Nashville increased 100 to 33,100. New Orleans grew 1,000 to 15,500. Louisville decreased 100 to 16,100.

The Northeast increased 16,700 in November. New York increased 6,800 to 295,500 and Philadelphia increased 1,600 to 96,900. Boston grew 900 to 106,100. Pittsburgh increased 2,000 to 42,400. Providence increased 1,200 to 19,900. Buffalo increased 600 to 17,200. Hartford fell 400 to 25,900 and Rochester increased 400 to 14,400.

The Midwest experienced an increase of 48,500 in November. Chicago increased 5,900 to 149,400. Detroit increased 10,300 to 75,400. St. Louis grew 1,100 to 45,600 and Minneapolis-St. Paul decreased 1,100 to 93,100. Columbus increased 1,200 to 35,900 and Cincinnati decreased 200 to 35,500. Kansas City increased 1,800 to 39,500 and Cleveland increased 900 to 31,300. Milwaukee decreased 200 to 30,900. Indianapolis increased 1,000 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 September’s data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 11 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: Denver (S/D rate of 0.58), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.68), San Jose (0.69), Nashville (0.72), Honolulu (0.78), Salt Lake City (0.86), San Francisco (0.89), Seattle-Tacoma (0.90), Boston (0.90), Austin (0.90), and Washington, DC (0.91). (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Hartford (1.03) and Milwaukee (1.04).

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 November, 9 of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases and one was constant (See pdf Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of November

In November, nine of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases and one was constant.

Education, training, and library ads increased 15,900 to 175,100. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.13, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening (see Table C and Table 7).

Healthcare practitioners and technical ads increased 15,100 to 617,900. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.26, i.e. over 3 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker.

Business and financial operations ads increased 11,800 to 284,000. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.76, i.e. over 1 advertised opening per unemployed job-seeker.

Computer and mathematical science ads increased 10,600 to 501,300. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.22, i.e. over 4 job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Food preparation and serving related ads increased 5,900 to 232,500. The supply/demand rate lies at 2.25, i.e. over 2 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker.

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance ads increased 6,400 to 109,100. The supply/demand rate lies at 3.31, i.e. over 3 unemployed job-seekers 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 2018

January 3, 2018
January 31, 2018
March 7, 2018
April 4, 2018
May 2, 2018
May 30, 2018
July 2, 2017
August 1, 2018
September 5, 2018
October 3, 2018
October 31, 2018
December 5, 2018

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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