In November there were 4,072,600 online advertised vacancies, a decrease of 89,100 – or 2.1% – from the October level, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series (HWOL). Nationally, online advertised vacancies were up 9.7% from Nov. ’06 to Nov. ’07.
There were 2.65 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in November.
“The growth in the number of online ads has slowed in the last two months, and while year over year growth is still positive the pace has definitely slowed,” said Gad Levanon, economist at The Conference Board. “In addition to trimming their hiring intentions, in recent months businesses have also been pulling back on investments in capital goods.”
“[W]e are not likely to see any significant boost in employment through the early months of 2008,” he said.
The National and Regional Picture
In November, 2,808,300 of the 4,072,600 unduplicated online advertised vacancies were new ads that did not appear in October, while the remainders are reposted ads from the previous month. The 2.1% decrease in total ads was caused primarily by a 2.3% decrease in new ads.
Despite those declines, Nov. ’06 to Nov. ’07 total ads and new ads rose 9.7% and 17.2%, respectively.
The national decline in advertised vacancies between October and November reflected a lower volume of ads in seven of the nine Census regions. Most regions saw a slight decline from last month but remained positive from last year’s time.
Nov. ’06 to Nov. ’07, seven of the nine regions continued to show a gain in labor demand. Two exceptions to this were again New England and the Pacific region.
“New England and the Pacific are also among the weakest regions according to The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index,” Levanon said.
Alaska posted 4.81 vacancies for every 100 persons in the state labor force, the highest rate in the nation for the third month in a row. Nevada (4.54) and Colorado (4.36) 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 (4.28) and Massachusetts (4.18).
Online advertised vacancies in California, the state with the largest labor force in the nation, totaled 585,500 in November. The volume of online advertised vacancies in California was significantly above the next highest states, Texas (363,500), New York (289,500) and Florida (244,300).
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 included Montana (0.60), Wyoming (0.65), Idaho (0.68), and North Dakota (0.69). Montana led the nation with the lowest supply/demand rate for the sixth month in a row.
There were 15 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 (4.56) and Michigan (3.98), Kentucky (2.95) and Arkansas (2.79).
“Many jobs in high demand are also, on average, among the highest paying occupations,” said Levanon.
Healthcare practitioners and technical workers (301,200) and management positions (280,900) remain top occupations with a significant number of ads posted online.
Also in high demand are office and administrative support (247,500), business and financial occupations (244,600), and computer and mathematical (225,500) occupations.
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.
Metro Areas Highlights
The top metro areas in November with around six advertised vacancies per 100 persons in the local labor force included Austin (6.17), San Jose (5.80) and Milwaukee (5.65).
The number of unemployed persons looking for work was fewer than the number of advertised vacancies in 16 of the 52, or almost one-third, of the 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 Austin; Salt Lake City; Washington, DC; Denver; Phoenix and New Orleans.
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 November, with 296,200 and 213,700, respectively.