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Online Labor Demand Down 153,600 in July

Monday, August 06, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

Online advertised vacancies fell 153,600 in July to 4,793,500, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Data Series. 

The Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.6 unemployed for every vacancy.  In June the number of unemployed was 7.8 million above the number of advertised vacancies compared to 10 million above in the fall of 2011.

”Over the last three years labor demand continued to move forward, albeit slowly, making this a very slow-growth recovery and an indication of the lingering economic uncertainty of employers,” said June Shelp, Vice President at The Conference Board. The average monthly increase for labor demand was 39,000 in 2010, up to 50,000 in 2011. In the first seven months of 2012, the increase is up to an average of 67,000 per month. Across the U.S. and across occupations, the picture is mixed with some States and metro areas benefiting from strength in manufacturing and energy as well as the continuing demand in occupations like computers and math and healthcare. In addition, Sales occupations are up 126,000 thus far in 2012.


  • Labor demand falls in 16 of the 20 largest States in July

Changes for the Month of July

In July online labor demand declined in four out of five States in the U.S. (Table 3). States that posted increases included Florida (+5,600), Nevada (+1,700), Alabama (+1,100), Hawaii (+1,000), Colorado (+800), Rhode Island (+300), Minnesota (+300), and Idaho (+100). Two States, Arizona and Louisiana, remained the same. (For details of each State see Table 3.)

Online labor demand in the Midwest dropped 42,200 in July. Ohio experienced the largest decline, 9,300, while Minnesota posted a gain of 300. The July decline in Ohio brought the seven-month total for 2012 to a gain of 18,100, or 10.7%. Other large States with July losses included Illinois, down 6,600 for a year-to-date gain of 24,100, or 15.2%; Missouri, down 4,600; Wisconsin, down 4,300; and Michigan, down 700. Among the smaller Midwest States, Indiana lost 4,100, South Dakota lost 2,200, and Kansas and North Dakota both fell by 1,200.

Online labor demand in the South fell 20,200 in July (Table A) with Florida posting the only increase (+5,600) among the large States. Texas, the largest State in the region, declined 4,800 for a combined increase of 45,100, or 14.6 percent, in the first seven months of 2012. Georgia lost 2,400 for a seven-month increase of 12,600, or 10.8 percent.  Virginia dropped 2,000 while Maryland lost 1,300 and North Carolina fell 300.  Among the smaller States in the South, Tennessee fell 3,600, Arkansas dropped 2,500, South Carolina lost 2,200, and Louisiana was unchanged.

In the West online labor demand fell 18,800 in July. California, the largest State, dropped 9,200 in July but was up 64,800, or 14 percent, in the first seven months of 2012. Washington dropped 2,400 in July and was up 14,100, or 13.6 percent, so far this year.  Colorado gained 800, and Arizona remained constant. Among the smaller States in the region, Nevada increased by 1,700, Oregon dropped 2,100, and Utah fell 700 (Table 3).

Online labor demand in the Northeast fell 11,700 in July. New Jersey dropped 4,400 for a cumulative gain of 11,500, or 8 percent, so far this year. New York fell 2,800 in July for a cumulative gain of 33,800, or 13.4 percent, so far in 2012. Pennsylvania lost 2,500, and Massachusetts fell 1,800. Among the smaller States in the Northeast, labor demand decreased by 1,000 in Maine, 900 in New Hampshire, and 700 in Connecticut and increased by 300 in Rhode Island (Table 3).

The Supply/Demand rate for the U.S. in June (the latest month for which the national unemployment number is available) stands at 2.58, indicating that there are between 2 and 3 unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. Nationally, there are 7.8 million more unemployed workers than advertised vacancies.

The Supply/Demand rates for the States are also for June 2012, the latest month available for unemployment data. The number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed only in North Dakota, where the Supply/Demand rate was 0.62. The State with the highest Supply/Demand rate is Mississippi (5.14), where there were over five unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. 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 (see Occupational Highlights section).


  • In July seven of the largest metro areas including Miami, Minneapolis, and San Francisco posted gains in labor demand while 13 posted drops
  • 8 of the 20 largest metro areas have supply/demand rates below 2, indicating that there are fewer than two unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy

In July, 7 of the largest MSAs and a total of 21 of the 52 metropolitan areas for which data are reported separately posted gains while 13 of the 20 large MSAs and 31 of the 52 metropolitan areas showed decreases in the number of advertised vacancies (Table 5).

A number of the largest metro areas have shown strength in online advertised vacancies since the official end of the recession in June 2009. Eleven have posted increases of over 100 percent: Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 147%), Detroit (up 143%), Cleveland (up 136%), Milwaukee (up 124%), San Jose (up 117%), Columbus (up 114%), Nashville (up 113%), Louisville (up 112%), Indianapolis (up 109%), Charlotte (up 106%), and Denver (up 105%).

Sixteen MSAs had Supply/Demand rates in May 2012 (the latest available data for unemployment) lower than 2, indicating there are fewer than two unemployed for every advertised vacancy (See Table B). Washington, DC continues to have the most favorable Supply/Demand rate (1.11) with just over one advertised vacancy for every unemployed worker. Oklahoma City (1.23), Minneapolis-St. Paul (1.24), Boston (1.31), Cleveland (1.58), and Salt Lake City (1.59) had the next lowest Supply/Demand rates.

Metro areas in which the number of unemployed is substantially above the number of online advertised vacancies include Riverside, CA with nearly eight unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy (7.96); Sacramento (4.60); Las Vegas (4.13); Los Angeles (4.03); and Miami (3.97).  Supply/Demand rate data are for May 2012, the latest month for which unemployment data for local areas are available (Table B & Table 6).


  • In July 4 of the 22 major occupational groups in the Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) posted gains while 18 declined (Table C and Table 7)
  • Sales and related occupations rose 32,000, or 5%, in July and 23% thus far in 2012

Occupational Changes for the Month of July

Among the largest occupational groups Sales and Related was the only occupation that experienced an increase in July. Demand rose 32,000 to 666,600 (Table C) and was led by an increase in demand for Retail Sales Workers, Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives of Technical and Scientific Products, and Advertising Sales Agents. In 2012 the demand for sales workers has continued to rise and reflects a greater willingness of workers to change jobs as well as job opportunities for the unemployed. Since December 2011 labor demand for sales workers has increased 126,000 and the Supply/Demand rate has dropped from 2.6 to 2.1 unemployed for every available ad and is significantly lower than the four unemployed for every advertised vacancy in June 2009 at the start of the recovery.  

Among the top ten occupational groups with the largest numbers of online advertised vacancies, labor demand for Food Preparation and Serving Related positions fell by 25,600 to 193,000 advertised vacancies in July. First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers were largely responsible for the drop. In Food Preparation and Serving the number of unemployed outnumbered advertised openings with 4.3 times more job-seekers than openings.

Labor demand for Healthcare Practitioners and Technical occupations dropped 25,200 in July to 590,600. Largely responsible for the drop were decreased advertised vacancies for Physical and Occupational Therapists, Pharmacy Technicians, Registered Nurses, and Speech Pathologists. The number of advertised vacancies in this occupational category continues to be quite favorable with demand outnumbering job-seekers by over 2 to 1 (0.41 S/D).

Labor demand for Computer and Mathematical Science workers fell 21,800 to 629,400. The fall was due to decreases in demand for Web Developers, Computer Systems Analysts, Computer Support Specialists, Network and Computer Systems Administrators, and Computer Programmers. However, the number of advertised vacancies in this occupational category continues to outnumber job-seekers by 5 to 1 (0.20 S/D based on June data, the latest unemployment data available).

Office and Administrative Support occupations dropped 12,400 to 504,000. Largely responsible for the July decrease was lower demand for Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Customer Service Representatives, Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, Sales-Floor Stock Clerks, and General Office Clerks.The number of unemployed in these occupations remains above the number of advertised vacancies with 2.90 unemployed for every advertised vacancy.

Other occupations that posted gains in July included Personal Care (up 6,900), Building and Grounds (3,200), and Construction (3,400).


New: HWOL is now available on Haver Analytics

Over 3,000 of the key HWOL press release time series will be exclusively available on Haver Analytics in August 2012. The available time series will 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).

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. For more information about the Help Wanted OnLine database delivered via Haver Analytics, please email sales@haver.com or navigate to www.haver.com/contact.html. For HWOL data for detailed geographic areas and occupations not in the press release, please contact 
June.Shelp@conference-board.org or Jeanne.Shu@conference-board.org.


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