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Press Release
Online Job Ads Increased 145,100 in September
03 October, 2018

Online Job Ads Increased 145,100 in September

  • Most states showed small gains
  • Widespread gains across most occupational categories

 Download the complimentary National Historical Table.

Online advertised vacancies increased 145,100 to 4,750,300 in September, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The August 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 6.2 million in August.

In the Professional occupational category, Business and financial operations ads increased by 26,300, Business ads increased 17,100, and Healthcare practitioner ads increased by 14,900. In the Services/Production occupational category, Sales increased by 30,800, Office and administrative support increased by 22,400 and Transportation ads decreased 10,100.  


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, 18 increased and 2 decreased
  • Among the 50 States, 44 increased, 4 declined and 2 were constant

September Changes for States

In September, online labor demand grew in 44 States, declined in 4 States, and 2 were constant. All four regions experienced increases.

The Northeast increased 19,100 in September (Table A). New York increased 11,700 to 271,400. Pennsylvania increased 3,100 to 208,200. New Jersey increased 2,100 to 147,700. Massachusetts increased 3,300 to 145,100. In the smaller States, Connecticut decreased 1,700 to 56,500. New Hampshire increased 600 to 23,300 and Maine increased 600 to 18,100. Rhode Island increased 200 to 16,100 and Vermont increased 800 to 12,000 (Table 3).

The West increased 45,500 in September. California increased 21,800 to 540,700 and Colorado increased 5,000 to 118,300. Washington increased 8,400 to 137,500. Arizona increased 1,900 to 95,700. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon increased 4,400 to 73,100. Utah increased 1,100 to 47,700. Nevada increased 1,000 to 43,200. Idaho increased 800 to 22,000 and New Mexico increased 1,000 to 25,300. Montana grew 400 to 18,500 and Hawaii decreased 400 to 19,600.

The Midwest increased 20,200 in September. Ohio increased 2,100 to 154,600 and Missouri increased 5,100 to 90,300. Minnesota increased 4,000 to 132,000 and Illinois decreased 700 to 185,000. Wisconsin increased 1,300 to 100,600 and Michigan decreased 700 to 134,400. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana increased 1,200 to 82,800 and Iowa increased 1,600 to 57,600. Nebraska increased 1,400 to 29,500 and South Dakota increased 600 to 14,400. Kansas increased 100 to 38,800.

The South increased 49,400 in September. Among the larger States in the region, Texas increased 16,600 to 333,200. Florida increased 7,200 to 245,300. North Carolina increased 5,400 to 136,100.  Georgia increased 7,200 to 154,500. Virginia increased 8,000 to 151,900. Maryland increased 2,300 to 97,700. Among the smaller States, Tennessee increased 2,600 to 84,800 and South Carolina increased 100 to 59,100. Alabama increased 1,500 to 52,300. Kentucky increased 700 to 45,700 and Oklahoma remained constant at 40,300. Louisiana increased 500 to 41,100 and Delaware increased 900 to 17,400.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for August 2018, the latest month for which State unemployment figures are available. There were 10 States in which the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed: North Dakota (0.65), Minnesota (0.70), Hawaii (0.73), Iowa (0.76), Colorado (0.80), Vermont (0.88), New Hampshire (0.90), Virginia (0.90), Wisconsin (0.96), and Massachusetts (0.97). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (2.63), Mississippi (2.23), and West Virginia (2.13), 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 September, 19 of the 20 largest metro areas rose and 1 declined
  • Among the 52 metro areas, 48 increased, 3 declined, and 1 was constant (See pdf Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In September, labor demand rose in 48 metro areas, declined in 3, and 1 was constant. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: St. Louis (3,600) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (3,600) in the Midwest; Los Angeles (6,000) and San Francisco (5,300) in the West; Washington D.C. (7,100) and Dallas (6,000) in the South; and New York (7,900) and Boston (2,700) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West increased 45,500 in September. San Francisco increased 5,300 to 113,300. Los Angeles increased 6,000 to 164,400. Seattle-Tacoma grew 5,100 to 91,100 and Phoenix increased 1,500 to 69,100. Denver increased 2,600 to 70,400 and San Jose grew 2,900 to 57,900. Riverside increased 1,700 to 33,600. Portland grew 4,000 to 46,100. Sacramento increased 600 at 26,200 and Salt Lake City increased 400 to 25,000. Honolulu fell 300 to 12,700 and Las Vegas grew 900 to 27,500.

The South increased 49,400 in September. Washington, DC increased 7,100 to 151,800 and Dallas increased 6,000 to 109,500. Miami increased 2,300 to 66,500. Atlanta increased 3,000 to 103,000. Houston increased 5,000 to 72,600. Austin grew 1,200 to 39,800 and Orlando increased 1,100 to 37,600. Charlotte increased 2,400 to 43,300. Tampa grew 1,700 to 41,100 and Baltimore increased 900 to 52,000. San Antonio increased 900 to 27,200. Nashville increased 1,500 to 37,900. New Orleans added 1,000 to 15,400 and Birmingham increased 300 to 14,400. Louisville increased 600 to 17,000.

The Northeast increased 19,100 in September. New York increased 7,900 to 283,300 and Pittsburgh increased 1,400 to 44,300. Boston grew 2,700 to 113,300. Philadelphia increased 1,800 to 103,300. Providence increased 500 to 20,900. Hartford fell 900 to 24,600 and Rochester increased 800 to 12,700. Buffalo increased 600 to 15,900.

The Midwest experienced an increase of 20,200 in September. Minneapolis-St. Paul increased 3,600 to 94,900 and Chicago increased 1,300 to 147,100. St. Louis grew 3,600 to 49,200. Detroit decreased 300 to 64,300. Indianapolis increased 400 to 31,500. Cleveland increased 100 to 28,500 and Cincinnati increased 800 to 34,800. Kansas City increased 1,100 to 39,000 and Columbus remained constant at 33,000. Milwaukee increased 1,300 to 31,700.

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 July’s data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 13 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: San Jose (S/D rate of 0.50), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.56), San Francisco (0.62), Honolulu (0.70), Denver (0.71), Nashville (0.80), Washington, DC (0.80), Salt Lake City (0.82), Boston (0.85), Austin (0.87), Milwaukee (0.89), Seattle-Tacoma (0.91) and Richmond (0.99) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Kansas City (1.02) and Hartford (1.02).

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 September, nine of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases (See pdf Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of September

In September, nine of the largest ten online occupational categories posted increases.

Computer and Mathematical ads increased 26,300 to 583,800. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.22, i.e. 4 advertised openings per unemployed job seeker (see Table C and Table 7).

Business and financial operations ads increased 17,100 to 308,900. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.75, i.e. 1 advertised opening per unemployed job seeker.

Healthcare practitioner ads increased 14,900 to 520,700. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.29, i.e. 3 advertised openings per unemployed job seeker.

Sales and related ads increased 30,800 to 475,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.31, i.e. over 1 unemployed job seeker for every advertised available opening.

Office and administrative support ads increased 22,400 to 491,400. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.64 i.e. over 1 unemployed job seeker for every advertised available opening.

Transportation ads decreased 10,100 to 314,000. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.72, 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,

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. We connect senior executives across industries and geographies to share ideas, develop insights, and recommend policy to address key issues. Our mission is to help leaders anticipate what’s ahead, improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-partisan, 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 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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