Online Advertised Job Vacancies Unchanged in August, Labor Demand Softens

September 10, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Pharma & Healthcare

In August there were 4,104,800 online advertised vacancies, an increase of 20,600 (or 0.5%) from July – and up 12% from August ’06, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series (HWOL).

There were 2.65 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in August, according to the data.

“The August numbers point to a continued softening in labor demand,” said Gad Levanon, economist at The Conference Board. “While there are occupations and industries, like healthcare, where demand for labor remains high, August was a month when The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index also indicated that Americans were feeling the softening of general business conditions and the labor market,” he added.

The following are the August findings released by The Conference Board:

The National Picture

In August, 2,780,400 of the 4,104,800 unduplicated online advertised vacancies were new ads that did not appear in July, while the remainder were reposted ads from the previous month. The 0.5% monthly increase in total ads reflected a 6% increase in new ads that offset the decline in reposted ads. Over the year (August ’06 to August ’07) total ads and new ads rose 12% and 14%, respectively.

Online job demand in August continued to be above last year’s level in eight of the nine Census regions, but there were substantial variations from region to region:

  • The largest year increase was in the West South Central region, which includes Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma: 32%.
  • The Mountain and East North Central regions were both up 24%.
  • The Pacific and South Atlantic regions posted more modest gains: 5% and 7%, respectively.
  • The New England region was down 6% from year-ago levels.

The New England region, however, continues to have one of the highest ads rate (3.58 ads per 100 persons in the regional labor force) exceeded only by the Mountain region (3.7 ads per 100 labor force).

State Highlights

  • Nevada posted 4.56 vacancies for every 100 persons in the state labor force – the highest rate in the nation – moving up from second place last month.
  • Alaska (4.46) and Montana (4.39) were close behind in the number of advertised vacancies when adjusted for the size of the state labor force.

tcb-august-states-highest-ad-rates.jpg

  • Other states in the top five included Oregon (4.33) and Colorado (4.3).
  • Online advertised vacancies in California, the state with the largest labor force in the nation, totaled 647,100 in August.

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  • The volume of online advertised vacancies in California was significantly above the next highest states, Texas (347,500), New York (284,200) and Florida (241,900).

Using the latest unemployment data available from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and computing the supply/demand ratio (unemployed/advertised vacancies), the states with the most favorable (e.g., lowest) supply/demand rates were Montana (0.49), Idaho (0.65), Wyoming (0.77), and Utah (0.78).

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Also:

  • There were 9 states where the supply/demand rate was less than 1.0, indicating that the number of unemployed workers was fewer than the number of online job ads.
  • For the nation as a whole, the comparable supply/demand rate was 1.85, with the number of unemployed persons exceeding the number of online advertised vacancies.
  • States where the number of unemployed persons looking for work significantly exceeded the number of online advertised demand included Mississippi (5.13) and Michigan (4.76), Arkansas (3.40) and Kentucky (3.29).

Occupational Focus

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  • Healthcare practitioners and technical workers (336,200) and management positions (312,700) – on average among the highest-paid positions – remained the top occupations, with a significant number of ads posted online.
  • According to the latest federal hourly wage data, wages average above $44 an hour for management positions and about $30 an hour for healthcare practitioners and technicians.
  • Also in high demand are office and administrative support (271,500), business and financial occupations (261,900), and computer and mathematical (259,400) occupations.

Top Metro Areas

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  • The top metro areas in August with over 6 advertised vacancies per 100 persons in the local labor force included Austin (6.26), San Francisco (6.11) and San Jose (6.10)
  • Those are also among the top 10 areas in the country where the number of unemployed persons was below the number of online advertised vacancies (supply/demand rate).
  • Salt Lake City was number one with a 0.50 supply/demand rate.
  • The number of unemployed persons looking for work was fewer than the number of advertised vacancies in 9 of the 52 metro areas.
  • Two of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, New York and Los Angeles, were first and second in the absolute volume of advertised job vacancies in August, with 291,600 and 235,100, respectively.

About the data: The Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series measures the number of new, first-time online jobs posted on more than 1,200 major internet job boards and smaller job boards that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas. Like The Conference Board’s long-running Help-Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (published since 1951), the new online series is not a direct measure of job vacancies. The level of ads in both print and online may change for reasons not related to overall job demand. The Conference Board, as a standard practice with new data series, considers the estimates in The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series to be developmental.

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