Online Help Wanted Ads Up 204,300 In April, Unchanged Vs. 2012

Filed under: Labor,News,The Economy |

Online advertised help wanted vacancies rose 204,300 in April to 5,103,100 in The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Data Series released May 1, 2013.

The gain offsets earlier losses, leaving labor demand flat in 2013. The Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.4 unemployed for each vacancy. In March, there were 6.8 million more unemployed than the number of advertised help wanted vacancies, down from 11.9 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

online ad decline, labor demand weak“For many workers looking for a new job, 2013 has been somewhat disappointing with the number of advertised vacancies in April largely unchanged from January,” said June Shelp, VP at The Conference Board. “The 204,000 rise in April is a good sign, but the question is: Will the improvement hold next month and will employers begin to add workers instead of just replacing those who leave?”

In the professional occupations, the only substantial rise in demand was for legal workers, up 35% since January, after having languishing in the early recovery years.

The 2013 results in the service/manufacturing occupations are mixed with manufacturing stalling and sales workers and food service openings slumping.

The bright note in this category is the building trades (construction and installation, maintenance and repair), which continue to post gains

Online Labor Demand – April Changes for States

In April, online labor demand rose in 44 of the 50 States in the U.S.. States that decreased were Montana, Maryland, New Jersey, West Virginia, Utah, and Kentucky.

More than 80%, 41 of the 50 States, are above last year’s April levels.

The largest gain in online labor demand was in the West, up 70,400 in April with almost half of the increase, 32,200, in California.

Arizona gained 17,400 and reached the highest level in its HWOL series.

Washington rose 8,800 while Colorado gained 1,200. Among the smaller Western States, Oregon gained 3,400 in April and Nevada rose 1,700. Utah fell 300.

Online labor demand in the South rose 39,700 in April with Texas experiencing the largest increase (10,700).

Florida increased by 7,500; Georgia, by 4,300; Virginia, by 2,600; and North Carolina, by 2,100. Maryland dropped 1,000. Among the smaller States, Arkansas increased by 3,600; Louisiana, by 2,100; Tennessee, by 1,000; and South Carolina, by 500.

Online labor demand in the Midwest also rose 39,700 in April.

Illinois posted the largest gain, 8,800. Wisconsin rose 6,900 to its all-time HWOL high.

Minnesota was up 4,900. Missouri gained 3,400. Michigan increased by 3,000 and Ohio, by just 300. Among the smaller Midwest States in April, Indiana increased by 2,700; Kansas, by 2,400; and North Dakota, by 1,200.

Online labor demand in the Northeast increased by 20,900 in April with Pennsylvania up 8,200 to 211,900.

Massachusetts and New York both gained 4,800, with the latter reaching its series high.

New Jersey was down 700.

Among the smaller States in the Northeast, April labor demand increased by 1,400 in Connecticut, 1,100 in New Hampshire, 700 in Rhode Island, and 300 in Maine.

The Supply/Demand rates for the States are for March 2013, the latest month available for state unemployment data. The number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed only in North Dakota, where the Supply/Demand rate was 0.66.

The State with the highest Supply/Demand rate was Mississippi (5.31), where there were more than five unemployed workers for each 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.

April was a mixed month for metro areas, with 25 of the 52 largest metro areas posting increases in labor demand while 27 posted decreases

Almost half of the largest metro areas (24) have supply/demand rates below 2, indicating that there are fewer than two unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy.

Online Labor Demand- Metro Area Changes

In April, 10 of the 20 largest MSAs and 25 of the 52 metropolitan areas for which data are reported separately posted increases in the number of advertised vacancies.

Metro areas with April gains were located across the U.S. with Seattle –Tacoma up 4,300, Phoenix up 3,000, and San Jose up 700 in the West.

In the other regions, the Boston metro area in the Northeast posted a gain of 700 advertised vacancies. In the South, vacancies were up by 3,200 in Atlanta, by 1,500 in Houston, by 500 in Dallas, and by 300 in Miami. In the Midwest, Chicago gained 4,700 and Minneapolis–St. Paul rose 1,600.

Washington, D.C., continues to have the most favorable Supply/Demand rate (1.04) with about one advertised vacancy for every unemployed worker.

Minneapolis-St. Paul (1.15), Oklahoma City (1.18), Salt Lake City (1.22), Boston (1.31), Seattle–Tacoma (1.35), Austin (1.39), Columbus (1.41), San Jose (1.42), and Honolulu (1.49) 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, Calif., with more than six unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy (6.18), Las Vegas (3.81), Sacramento (3.50), and Los Angeles (3.46).

Since the end of the recession in June 2009, a number of the large metro areas have posted gains in labor demand above 100%.

The most notable of these are Charlotte (up 141%), Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 141%), Portland (up 134%), Detroit (up 134%), Milwaukee (up 133%), Denver (up 133%), Cleveland (up 133%), Birmingham (up 130%), Nashville (up 128%), and Columbus (up 126%).

Source: The Conference Board

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