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Press Release
Online Job Ads Decreased 267,300 in October
31 October, 2018

Online Job Ads Decreased 267,300 in October

  • Loss widespread across virtually all States and MSAs
  • Widespread losses over the month in most occupational categories

Download the complimentary National Historical Table.

Online advertised vacancies decreased 267,300 to 4,482,900 in October, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series,released today. The September Supply/Demand rate stands at 1.26 unemployed workers for each advertised vacancy, with a total of 1.2 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies. The number of unemployed workers was approximately 6.0 million in September.

In the Professional occupational category, Healthcare practitioner ads decreased by 20,400, Management ads decreased 15,800, and Computer and math ads decreased by 13,800. In the Services/Production occupational category, Sales ads decreased by 54,000, Office and administrative support ads decreased by 33,300 and Transportation ads decreased 24,700.  

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, all 20 decreased
  • Among the 50 States, 49 declined and 1 was constant

October Changes for States

In October, online labor demand declined in 49 States, and 1 was constant. All four regions experienced decreases.

The Northeast decreased 35,900 in October (Table A). New York decreased 6,000 to 265,400. Pennsylvania decreased 10,400 to 197,800. New Jersey decreased 7,500 to 140,200. Massachusetts decreased 7,200 to 137,900. In the smaller States, Connecticut decreased 2,300 to 54,200. New Hampshire decreased 1,800 to 21,500 and Maine decreased 1,400 to 16,700. Rhode Island decreased 1,000 to 15,100 and Vermont remained constant at 11,900 (Table 3).

The West decreased 54,300 in October. California decreased 21,800 to 518,900 and Colorado decreased 6,700 to 111,700. Washington decreased 2,300 to 135,200. Arizona decreased 7,000 to 88,700. Among the smaller States in theWest, Oregon decreased 4,200 to 68,900. Utah decreased 2,900 to 44,800. Nevada decreased 4,300 to 38,900. Idaho decreased 1,000 to 20,900 and New Mexico decreased 1,500 to 23,800. Montana fell 1,400 to 17,200 and Hawaii decreased 1,000 to 18,600.

The Midwest decreased 66,400 in October. Ohio decreased 10,600 to 144,000 and Missouri decreased 5,400 to 84,800. Minnesota decreased 7,500 to 124,500 and Illinois decreased 9,500 to 175,500. Wisconsin decreased 6,700 to 93,900 and Michigan decreased 9,200 to 125,100. Among the smaller States in the region, Indiana decreased 7,000 to 75,800 and Iowa decreased 3,300 to 54,300. Nebraska decreased 500 to 29,000 and South Dakota decreased 900 to 13,500. Kansas decreased 2,300 to 36,500.

The South decreased 96,800 in October. Among the larger States in the region, Texas decreased 18,000 to 315,200. Florida decreased 19,000 to 226,300. North Carolina decreased 6,800 to 129,300.  Georgia decreased 9,700 to 144,800. Virginia decreased 5,700 to 146,200. Maryland decreased 6,800 to 90,900. Among the smaller States, Tennessee decreased 7,500 to 77,300 and South Carolina decreased 4,000 to 55,100. Alabama decreased 3,900 to 48,400. Kentucky decreased 4,400 to 41,300 and Oklahoma fell 3,500 to 36,800. Louisiana decreased 2,800 to 38,300 and Delaware decreased 900 to 16,400.

Supply/Demand Rates: Help Wanted OnLine calculates Supply/Demand rates for the 50 States (Table 4). The data are for September 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: North Dakota (0.63), Minnesota (0.66), Hawaii (0.77), Iowa (0.72), Colorado (0.80), Vermont (0.83), Virginia (0.83), New Hampshire (0.87), Massachusetts (0.94), Wisconsin (0.95), South Dakota (0.95), and Nebraska (0.97). The States with the highest Supply/Demand rates were Louisiana (2.59), Mississippi (2.23), and West Virginia (2.05), 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, all 20 largest metro areas declined
  • Among the 52 metro areas, 51 declined, and 1 was constant (See pdf Table 5)

Metro Area Changes

In October, labor demand fell in 51 metro areas and 1 was constant. The MSAs with the largest changes in each of the regions were: Chicago (-8,900) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (-5,400) in the Midwest; Los Angeles (-7,900) and Phoenix (-5,100) in the West; Dallas (-6,400) and Atlanta (-5,200) in the South; and New York (-9,900) and Philadelphia (6,400) in the Northeast (See Table B and Table 5).

The West decreased 54,300 in October. Los Angeles decreased 7,900 to 156,500. San Francisco decreased 3,500 to 109,800. Seattle-Tacoma fell 600 to 90,500 and Phoenix decreased 5,100 to 64,000. Denver decreased 4,200 to 66,300 and San Jose fell 1,200 to 56,700. Riverside decreased 2,300 to 31,200. Portland fell 2,900 to 43,200. Sacramento decreased 1,400 at 24,800 and Salt Lake City decreased 1,400 to 23,600. Honolulu fell 400 to 12,300 and Las Vegas fell 2,900 to 24,500. 

The South decreased 96,800 in October. Washington, DC decreased 4,000 to 147,800 and Dallas decreased 6,400 to 103,100. Miami decreased 3,800 to 62,700. Atlanta decreased 5,200 to 97,800. Houston decreased 3,400 to 69,200. Austin fell 500 to 39,300 and Orlando decreased 2,900 to 34,700. Charlotte decreased 2,700 to 40,600. Tampa fell 3,000 to 38,100 and Baltimore decreased 2,800 to 49,200. San Antonio decreased 1,300 to 26,000. Nashville decreased 3,400 to 34,500. New Orleans fell 1,000 to 14,400 and Birmingham decreased 1,000 to 13,400. Louisville decreased 1,700 to 15,300.

The Northeast decreased 35,900 in October. New York decreased 9,900 to 273,400 and Boston fell 4,200 to 109,100. Philadelphia decreased 6,400 to 97,000 and Pittsburgh decreased 1,900 to 42,400. Providence decreased 1,400 to 19,500. Hartford fell 800 to 23,900 and Rochester remained constant at 12,700. Buffalo decreased 100 to 15,800.

The Midwest experienced a decrease of 66,400 in October. Minneapolis-St. Paul decreased 5,400 to 89,500 and Chicago decreased 8,900 to 138,200. St. Louis fell 2,600 to 46,600. Detroit decreased 3,100 to 61,200. Indianapolis decreased 2,600 to 28,900. Cleveland decreased 1,600 to 26,900 and Cincinnati decreased 2,200 to 32,600. Kansas City decreased 3,400 to 35,700 and Columbus fell 2,000 to 31,000. Milwaukee decreased 2,900 to 28,800.

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 August’s data (the latest available unemployment data for metro areas), 15 major metro areas saw more job openings than unemployed workers: San Jose (S/D rate of 0.49), Minneapolis-St. Paul (0.54), San Francisco (0.61), Honolulu (0.74), Washington, DC (0.79), Nashville (0.80), Denver (0.81), Boston (0.85), Salt Lake City (0.86), Austin (0.87), Seattle-Tacoma (0.88), Milwaukee (0.92), Kansas City (0.95), Hartford (0.96) and Richmond (0.99) (Table 6). Other favorable markets for job-seekers included Atlanta (1.06) and St. Louis (1.07).

In contrast, unemployed workers face great competition for each advertised position in Riverside (over 2 unemployed for every opening) as well as New Orleans (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 October, all of the largest ten online occupational categories posted decreases (See pdf Table C)

Occupational Changes for the Month of October

In October, all of the largest ten online occupational categories posted decreases.

Computer and Mathematical ads decreased 13,800 to 570,100. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.16, i.e. 6 advertised openings per unemployed job seeker (see Table C and Table 7).

Management ads decreased 15,800 to 421,000. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.76, i.e. 1 advertised opening per unemployed job seeker.

Healthcare practitioner ads decreased 20,400 to 500,300. The supply/demand rate lies at 0.32, i.e. 3 advertised openings per unemployed job seeker.

Sales and related ads decreased 54,000 to 421,600. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.34, i.e. over 1 unemployed job seeker for every advertised available opening.

Office and administrative support ads decreased 33,300 to 458,100. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.18 i.e. over 1 unemployed job seeker for every advertised available opening.

Transportation ads decreased 24,700 to 289,300. The supply/demand rate lies at 1.84, i.e. over 1 unemployed job seeker for every advertised available opening.

Food preparation and serving related ads decreased 21,600 to 202,700. The supply/demand rate lies at 2.11, i.e. over 2 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 October 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 is a member-focused think tank that provides trusted insights for what’s ahead. We are 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
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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