Online-Advertised Job Vacancies Dip in October

November 1, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Financial Services | Pharma & Healthcare

In October there were 4,161,700 online-advertised job vacancies nationally, a decrease of 108,300, or 2.5%, from September – and up 8.6% from October 2006, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series (HWOL). There were 2.71 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in October.

“The year-on-year growth rate of online advertised vacancies, while still positive, has slowed in recent months, and the 8.6% increase is the smallest since this series began in May 2005,” said Gad Levanon, economist at The Conference Board. “These data suggest that the slow pace in the labor market will continue in the months ahead and is likely to extend into the early months of 2008.”

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence survey data, released a day before the HWOL data, was another indication of the weakness in the labor market and the US economy in general, Levanon said.

Overview: The National/Regional Picture

  • In October, 2,875,300 of the 4,161,700 unduplicated online advertised vacancies were new ads that did not appear in September, while the remainder are reposted ads from the previous month.
  • The 2.5% month-to-month decrease in total ads was caused primarily by a 2% decrease in new ads.
  • Despite those declines, total ads and new ads rose 8.6% and 13.8%, respectively, from Oct. ’06 to Oct. ’07.
  • The national decline in advertised vacancies between September and October reflected a lower volume of ads in eight of the nine Census regions (ad volume was virtually unchanged in the Middle Atlantic region):
  • Oct. ’06 to Oct. ’07, seven of the nine regions continued to show a gain in labor demand:
    • The Mountain region once again had the highest ad rate (3.74), as four of the region’s states (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Montana) are among the top 10 states with the highest ads rate.
    • The central regions of the country experienced the largest over-the-year gains, with the West South Central region leading (up 29%), followed by the East North Central region (up 19%).
  • Despite the over-the-year gains, the growth rate in most regions slowed down in recent months:
    • The New England region, despite having the second-highest ads rates (3.64 ads per 100 persons in the regional labor force), declined 6% in the last 12 months.
    • The Pacific region, which had an ads rate of 3.45, dipped 2.4% from last year’s level.

State Highlights


  • Alaska posted 4.66 vacancies for every 100 persons in the state labor force, the highest rate in the nation, for the second month in a row.
  • Nevada (4.51) and Colorado (4.35) were close behind in the number of advertised vacancies when adjusted for the size of the state labor force.
  • Other states in the top five included Delaware (4.30) and Montana (4.30).
  • Online advertised vacancies in California, the state with the largest labor force in the nation, totaled 628,500.
  • The volume of online advertised vacancies in California was significantly above the next highest states, Texas (364,600), New York (290,300) and Florida (244,100).


  • The states with the most favorable (i.e., lowest) supply/demand rates included Montana (0.50), Idaho (0.55), Wyoming (0.61), and Delaware (0.68).
  • There were 14 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 for October was 1.63, indicating that the number of unemployed persons exceeded 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 (4.71), Michigan (4.02), Kentucky (3.30) and Arkansas (3.00).


Occupational Focus


  • Over 317,000 online ads were posted for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations in October.
  • Also among the top occupations are management positions, with 285,600 ads posted.
  • 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 (255,900), business and financial occupations (246,800), and computer and mathematical (240,900) occupations.
  • Management and Business/Financial occupations account for more than 30% of online ads in New York and Illinois.

Metropolitan Areas


  • The top metro areas in October with around six advertised vacancies per 100 persons in the local labor force included Austin (6.40) and San Jose (6.13) and Milwaukee (5.75).
  • The number of unemployed persons looking for work was fewer than the number of advertised vacancies in 14 of the 52 metro areas for which data are reported separately.
  • Cities across the nation where the number of advertised vacancies are plentiful in relation to the number of unemployed included Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C., Austin, Phoenix, Denver and San Francisco.
  • Salt Lake City has the lowest supply/demand ratio in the nation.
  • 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 October, with 300,300 and 226,300, respectively.

About the data: The Help Wanted Online Data Series is a developmental program with research and evaluation studies ongoing. The comparisons in the attached tables between total ads and total unemployed at the various geographic levels are overall counts and it cannot be inferred that the detailed occupation or geographic location of the unemployed matches the occupation or geographic location of the vacancy. Additionally, there may be differences in the way the unemployed person describes his occupation versus the way an employer may describe the same job. The underlying data for this series is provided by Wanted Technologies Corporation. provides financial support for the series.

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