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Press Release
Online Job Ads Decreased 69,300 in April
02 May, 2018

Online Job Ads Decreased 69,300 in April

  • Following the March increase, HWOL registered a small loss in April
  • Professional occupation category saw small gains while Services/Production saw losses

Download the complimentary National Historical Table.

Online advertised vacancies decreased 69,300 to 4,750,500 in April, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The March Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.37 unemployed for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 1.8 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed was approximately 6.6 million in March.

The Professional occupational category saw gains in Computer and math (19.1) and Arts, design, entertainment (-8.0). The Services/Production occupational category saw changes in Sales (-20.8), Construction (-17.5), and Building and grounds

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, 5 increased, 14 decreased, and 1 was constant
  • Among the 50 States, 26 increased, 21 declined, and 3 were constant

April Changes for States

In April, online labor demand grew in 26 States, declined in 21 States, and 3 were constant. All four regions experienced decreases.

The Northeast decreased 30,300 in April (Table A). New York decreased 17,700 to 281,200. New Jersey decreased 7,300 to 140,300. Massachusetts remained constant at 141,400. Pennsylvania decreased 3,600 to 206,000. In the smaller States, Connecticut decreased 100 to 65,400. New Hampshire increased 400 to 24,000 and Maine decreased 600 to 18,100. Rhode Island increased 700 to 15,800 and Vermont remained constant at 11,600 (Table 3).

The West decreased 19,800 in April. California decreased 19,200 to 540,100 and Colorado decreased 1,000 to 121,200. Washington decreased 3,900 to 139,800. Arizona decreased 600 to 92,400. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon increased 1,300 to 73,800. Utah increased 700 to 52,800. Nevada increased 1,000 to 44,700. Idaho grew 500 to 23,200 and New Mexico increased 200 to 26,000. Montana fell 200 to 18,600 and Hawaii decreased 100 to 21,400.

The Midwest experienced a decrease of 2,200 in April. Illinois grew 200 to 187,400 and Michigan increased 4,300 to 140,200. Missouri decreased 500 to 88,200 and Ohio decreased 6,500 to 169,800. Minnesota decreased 800 to 134,300 and Wisconsin increased 200 to 102,700. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana decreased 1,400 to 83,600 and Iowa increased 2,100 to 59,700. Nebraska remained constant at 29,700 and South Dakota increased 200 to 13,500. Kansas increased 600 to 37,300.

The South decreased 14,400 in April. Among the larger States in the region, Texas increased 1,800 to 337,100. Florida decreased 11,100 to 244,300. North Carolina decreased 2,100 to 136,300. Georgia increased 600 to 152,700. Virginia decreased 600 to 147,200. Maryland decreased 2,300 to 93,400. Among the smaller States, Tennessee decreased 500 to 81,300 and South Carolina increased 800 to 61,200. Alabama grew 1,100 to 51,800. Kentucky grew 1,000 to 46,500 and Oklahoma increased 500 to 40,000. Louisiana increased 600 to 40,900 and Delaware increased 300 to 16,900.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for March 2018, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 12 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: Hawaii (0.65), North Dakota (0.68), Minnesota (0.73), Colorado (0.74), New Hampshire (0.81), Iowa (0.82), Vermont (0.83), Wisconsin (0.88), Massachusetts (0.91), Utah (0.93), Nebraska (0.95), and Virginia (0.99). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (2.36), Mississippi (2.13), West Virginia (2.08), and New Mexico (2.03), 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 April, five of the 20 largest metro areas rose and 15 declined
  • Among the 52 metro areas, 15 rose, 35 declined, and 2 were constant (see pdf Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In April, labor demand rose in 15 metro areas, declined in 35, and 2 were constant. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Detroit 2,900) and Cincinnati (-2,400) in the Midwest; Los Angeles (-6,700) and San Francisco (-2,500) in the West; Miami (-3,300) and Orlando (-2,200) in the South; and New York (-16,600) and Philadelphia (-4,300) in the Northeast (See pdf Table B and Table 5).

The West decreased 19,800 in April. Seattle-Tacoma fell 2,000 to 93,200 and Phoenix decreased 400 to 66,500. San Francisco decreased 2,500 to 111,900. Los Angeles decreased 6,700 to 161,200. Denver increased 300 to 73,000 and San Jose fell 100 to 61,500. Riverside decreased 900 to 31,900. Portland grew 700 to 46,900. Sacramento decreased 1,400 at 27,000 and Salt Lake City increased 300 to 28,500. Honolulu fell 100 to 14,200 and Las Vegas grew 1,000 to 28,200.

The South decreased 14,400 in April. Houston increased 700 to 72,800 and Dallas decreased 1,300 to 108,500. Miami decreased 3,300 to 67,500 and Washington, DC decreased 1,800 to 145,600. Austin grew 100 to 40,500 and Atlanta increased 900 to 102,100. Orlando decreased 2,200 to 34,900. Charlotte decreased 100 to 43,400. Tampa fell 1,800 to 41,600 and Baltimore decreased 2,200 to 50,000. San Antonio remained constant at 28,500. Nashville decreased 800 to 34,700. New Orleans remained constant at 15,100 and Birmingham increased 500 to 14,300. Louisville increased 100 to 16,900.

The Northeast decreased 30,300 in April. New York decreased 16,600 to 282,000 and Pittsburgh decreased 2,800 to 43,900. Philadelphia decreased 4,300 to 98,500. Boston grew 100 to 110,400. Providence increased 700 to 21,000. Buffalo decreased 1,200 to 17,400. Hartford grew 100 to 26,300 and Rochester decreased 1,200 to 14,600.

The Midwest experienced a decrease of 2,200 in April. Detroit increased 2,900 to 67,800 and Chicago decreased 200 to 148,600. Minneapolis-St. Paul decreased 600 to 95,600 and St. Louis fell 300 to 47,200. Indianapolis fell 900 to 31,500. Columbus decreased 1,100 to 36,700 and Cincinnati decreased 2,400 to 36,900. Kansas City increased 600 to 37,500 and Cleveland decreased 800 to 32,200. Milwaukee decreased 200 to 30,800.

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 February’s data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 14 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: San Jose (S/D rate of 0.52), Honolulu (0.61), Denver (0.61), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.63), San Francisco (0.65), Salt Lake City (0.67), Milwaukee (0.73), Boston (0.79), Washington, DC (0.79), Nashville (0.81), Austin (0.86), Seattle-Tacoma (0.93), Indianapolis (0.95), and Columbus (0.97) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Portland (1.02).

In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (over 2 unemployed for every opening) as well as Houston (over 2 unemployed for every opening). In 50 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 April, four of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases and six declined (see pdf Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of April

In April, four of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases and six declined.

Computer and math ads increased 19,100 to 561,500. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.16, i.e. 6 advertised openings per unemployed job-seeker (see Table C and Table 7).

Arts, design, entertainment ads decreased 8,000 to 99,300. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.36, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Sales and related ads decreased 20,800 to 449,700. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.56, i.e. over 1 unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Construction ads decreased 17,500 to 103,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 4.60, i.e. over 4 unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Building and grounds ads decreased 12,300 to 97,000. The supply/demand rate lies at 3.32, i.e. 3 unemployed job-seekers for every advertised available opening.

Office and admin ads decreased 9,500 to 477,900. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.29, i.e. 1 unemployed job-seeker for every advertised available opening.


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
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

Joseph DiBlasi



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

Press Release
With supplemental data


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