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Press Release
Online Job Ads Decreased 46,300 in August
05 September, 2018

Online Job Ads Decreased 46,300 in August

  • Most states showed small losses
  • Most occupations showed losses over the month

Download the complimentary National Historical Table.

Online advertised vacancies decreased 46,300 to 4,605,200 in August, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The July Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.35 unemployed workers for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 1.6 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed workers was approximately 6.3 million in July.

In the Professional occupational category, Healthcare practitioner ads decreased by 15,400, Education, training, and library ads decreased 14,500, and Business ads decreased 9,700. In the Services/Production occupational category, Transportation ads decreased 24,700, Production ads decreased 2,900, and Food preparation ads increased 3,300.

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 20 largest States, 13 increased and 17 decreased
  • Among the 50 States, 16 increased, 33 declined and 1 was constant

August Changes for States

In August, online labor demand grew in 16 States, declined in 33 States, and 1 was constant. All four regions experienced decreases.

The Northeast decreased 18,200 in August (Table A). New York decreased 13,500 to 259,700. Pennsylvania decreased 1,300 to 205,100. New Jersey decreased 1,300 to 145,600. Massachusetts decreased 2,200 to 141,800. In the smaller States, Connecticut decreased 3,400 to 58,100. New Hampshire increased 700 to 22,700 and Maine increased 500 to 17,400. Rhode Island increased 100 to 15,900 and Vermont decreased 500 to 11,200 (Table 3).

The West decreased 10,000 in August. California decreased 11,200 to 518,900 and Colorado decreased 2,700 to 113,300. Washington decreased 1,400 to 129,100. Arizona increased 1,300 to 93,800. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon increased 300 to 68,700. Utah decreased 1,400 to 46,600. Nevada increased 700 to 42,200. Idaho decreased 600 to 21,200 and New Mexico decreased 200 to 24,300. Montana grew 800 to 18,200 and Hawaii increased 200 to 20,000.

The Midwest experienced a decrease of 21,200 in August. Ohio decreased 5,000 to 152,500 and Illinois decreased 3,400 to 185,700. Michigan decreased 1,100 to 135,100. Missouri decreased 2,300 to 85,100. Minnesota decreased 2,800 to 128,000 and Wisconsin decreased 3,300 to 99,300. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana decreased 2,000 to 81,600 and Iowa decreased 1,100 to 56,000. Nebraska decreased 1,000 to 28,100 and South Dakota remained constant at 13,700. Kansas increased 1,100 to 38,700.

The South decreased 6,200 in August. Among the larger States in the region, North Carolina decreased 4,000 to 130,600. Texas decreased 500 to 316,600. Florida decreased 800 to 238,100. Georgia increased 300 to 147,200. Virginia decreased 3,700 to 143,800. Maryland increased 1,300 to 95,400. Among the smaller States, Tennessee decreased 800 to 82,200 and South Carolina decreased 1,100 to 59,000. Alabama decreased 800 to 50,800. Kentucky decreased 1,400 to 45,000 and Oklahoma increased 300 to 40,300. Louisiana decreased 200 to 40,600 and Delaware decreased 800 to 16,500.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for July 2018, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 11 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: North Dakota (0.63), Minnesota (0.71), Hawaii (0.72), Colorado (0.74), Iowa (0.77), Vermont (0.84), Virginia (0.90), Wisconsin (0.91), New Hampshire (0.93), Massachusetts (0.94), and Nebraska (0.99). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (2.58), Mississippi (2.21), and West Virginia (2.09), 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 August, 5 of the 20 largest metro areas rose and 15 declined
  • Among the 52 metro areas, 14 increased, 37 declined and 1 was constant (See pdf Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In August, labor demand rose in 14 metro areas, declined in 37, and 1 was constant. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Chicago (-3,800) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (-1,300) in the Midwest; San Francisco (-5,100) and San Jose (-3,000) in the West; Miami (-1,400) and Tampa (-1,400) in the South; and New York (-8,100) and Boston (-1,800) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West decreased 10,000 in August. San Francisco decreased 5,100 to 108,000. Los Angeles decreased 2,700 to 158,300. Seattle-Tacoma fell 200 to 86,000 and Phoenix increased 900 to 67,600. Denver decreased 1,100 to 67,800 and San Jose fell 3,000 to 55,000. Riverside increased 200 to 31,800. Portland grew 200 to 42,100. Sacramento increased 200 at 25,600 and Salt Lake City decreased 700 to 24,600. Honolulu stayed constant at 13,100 and Las Vegas grew 300 to 26,500.

The South decreased 6,200 in August. Miami decreased 1,400 to 64,200. Atlanta increased 1,200 to 100,000. Washington, DC increased 700 to 144,800 and Dallas increased 100 to 103,500. Houston decreased 100 to 67,600. Austin fell 800 to 38,600 and Orlando increased 600 to 36,500. Charlotte decreased 400 to 40,900. Tampa fell 1,400 to 39,400 and Baltimore increased 1,200 to 51,100. San Antonio decreased 600 to 26,300. Nashville decreased 600 to 36,500. New Orleans added 100 to 14,400 and Birmingham increased 300 to 14,100. Louisville decreased 200 to 16,400.

The Northeast decreased 18,200 in August. New York decreased 8,100 to 275,400 and Pittsburgh decreased 1,300 to 42,900. Boston fell 1,800 to 110,600. Philadelphia decreased 1,000 to 101,500. Providence increased 100 to 20,400. Hartford fell 400 to 25,500 and Rochester decreased 1,700 to 11,900. Buffalo decreased 800 to 15,300.

The Midwest experienced a decrease of 21,200 in August. Chicago decreased 3,800 to 145,800 and Detroit decreased 500 to 64,600. Minneapolis-St. Paul decreased 1,300 to 91,300 and St. Louis fell 1,000 to 45,600. Indianapolis decreased 100 to 31,100. Columbus decreased 800 to 33,000 and Cincinnati decreased 700 to 34,000. Kansas City decreased 900 to 37,900 and Cleveland decreased 1,300 to 28,400. Milwaukee decreased 800 to 30,500.

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 July’s data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 12 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: San Jose (S/D rate of 0.48), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.56), San Francisco (0.59), Denver (0.70), Honolulu (0.71), Salt Lake City (0.79), Nashville (0.79), Washington, DC (0.80), Boston (0.84), Austin (0.85), Milwaukee (0.87), and Seattle-Tacoma (0.91) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Richmond (1.00), Kansas City (1.00), and Hartford (1.00).

In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (over 2 unemployed for every opening) as well as New Orleans and Houston (2 unemployed for every opening). In 49 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 August, three of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases (See pdf Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of August

In August, all of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases.

Healthcare practitioner ads decreased 15,400 to 505,700. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.19, i.e. 5 advertised openings per unemployed job seeker (see Table C and Table 7).

Education, training, and library ads decreased 14,500 to 147,500. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.65, i.e. over 1 unemployed job seeker for every advertised available opening.

Business and financial operations ads decreased 9,700 to 291,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.60, i.e. 1 advertised opening per unemployed job seeker.

Transportation ads decreased 24,700 to 324,100. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.28, i.e. 1 unemployed job seeker for every advertised available opening.

Food preparation and service increased 3,300 to 224,200. The supply/demand rate lies at 2.47 i.e. over 2 unemployed job seekers for every advertised available opening.

Sales and related ads increased 2,600 to 444,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.44, i.e. over 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 August 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
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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