NEW YORK, March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Online advertised vacancies dipped by 27,400 in February to 4,245,600 according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine™ (HWOL) Data Series released today. Labor demand has risen 1.41 million since the series' low point in April 2009. This increase offsets approximately 80 percent of the 1.76 million drop in ad volume during the 2-year downturn period from April 2007 through April 2009.
"Total labor demand (new ads and ads that are reposted from the previous month) paused in February, but the number of new, first-time advertised vacancies continued to rise and is an indication that employers are continuing to look for workers," said June Shelp, Vice President at The Conference Board. "Nationally, new ads were up 86,100 in February, and that is a positive sign in contrast to the last few years when advertised vacancies either dropped or remained unchanged from January to February." Nationally, there were 9.6 million more unemployed than advertised vacancies in January (the latest month for which unemployment data are available).
REGIONAL AND STATE HIGHLIGHTS
- Supply/Demand drops to just over three unemployed for every advertised vacancy
Labor demand dipped 16,300 in the South in February. Among the larger States in the region, Maryland posted an increase of 16,600 and Georgia had a slight increase of 2,300. The increases were offset by dips in several States including Texas (-14,400), Virginia (-8,000), Florida (-1,300), and North Carolina (-700). Among the less populous States in the South, Oklahoma fell 4,000, South Carolina declined by 3,600, West Virginia was down 2,000, and Arkansas edged down 1,600.
In February, the Midwest slipped by 10,800 with States posting modest losses and gains. Ohio led the region with its gain of 8,600. Michigan and Minnesota followed with gains of 5,900 and 2,400 respectively while Illinois posted a decline of 7,100. Among the larger States, Missouri and Wisconsin fell 6,000 and 4,700 respectively. Among the States with smaller populations, Iowa declined by 3,800, Indiana shrank by 2,800, and Kansas slipped by 1,800, while North Dakota and South Dakota edged down by 1,700 and 1,300 respectively.
The West was the only region to post a gain this month, up 2,400; it was led by California's gain of 6,400. Along the West Coast, Washington State rose 3,900 in February as Oregon slipped by 2,200. Among the largest Mountain States, Colorado rose 3,100 while Arizona remained stable. Some of the less populous States posting decreases included Utah, New Mexico, and Montana, which declined by 3,300, 1,500, and 1,300 respectively.
The Northeast was basically unchanged (down 700) in February. New York and Massachusetts both rose 2,700. New Jersey dropped 9,300 this month. Pennsylvania posted a 2,000 loss in February. Among the smaller States in New England, Connecticut rose 5,000 while Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire were down by slim margins: 700, 400, and 300 respectively. Rhode Island remained basically unchanged (adding 200).
The Supply/Demand rate for the U.S. in January (the latest month for which unemployment numbers are available) stands at 3.24, indicating that there are over 3 unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. Nationally, there are 9.6 million more unemployed workers than advertised vacancies. January unemployment data for States will not be available until later in March. Looking at the December 2010 data, the States where there were fewer than two unemployed for every advertised vacancy included North Dakota and South Dakota (Supply/Demand rates of 1.14 and 1.66 respectively) as well as Nebraska (1.77) and Alaska (1.96) (Table 4). The State with the highest Supply/Demand rate is Mississippi (7.84), where there are almost 8 unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. There are a number of States in which there are over five unemployed for every advertised vacancy including Kentucky (5.84), Michigan (5.65), Indiana (5.30), South Carolina (5.19), Alabama (5.17), Florida (5.12), and California and Nevada (both with Supply/Demand rates of 5.09).
It should be noted 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).
Labor demand in February:
- Demand for workers in Computer and Mathematical, Sales and Transportation and Material moving occupations rose in February
Among the top 10 occupation groups with the largest numbers of online advertised vacancies, labor demand for Computer and Science workers increased by 9,500 in February to 584,800, led by a demand for computer systems analysts, web developers, and computer software engineers (applications). Job opportunities remain favorable in this occupational category with slightly over 3 ads for every job-seeker (S/D of 0.29).
In February, Sales and Related occupations posted a gain of 6,800 to 561,000. In Sales and Related there are almost 3 (2.71) unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy. At the same time Management positions rose by 4,900 to 444,800. Management positions that had the largest increase in advertised vacancies included marketing managers, sales managers, medical and health services managers, and financial managers. The S/D rate in Management is under 2 (1.59) unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy.
Business and Financial Operations positions decreased by 6,400 to 246,200 advertised vacancies in February. Accountants, management analysts, and financial analysts were among the advertised vacancies that showed declines. In the field of business and financial operations there are almost 2 unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy. Advertised vacancies in Architecture and Engineering jobs fell by 5,200 to 161,400. In Architecture and Engineering there is roughly one unemployed worker for every advertised vacancy. (S/D of 0.89)
Labor demand for Healthcare Practitioners and Technical occupations dropped 4,300 in February to 600,100. The drop largely reflected decreases in advertised vacancies for registered nurses and occupational and physical therapists. Healthcare Support positions posted a similar decrease of 4,200 to 139,000 in February.
Healthcare is a broad field, and the relative tightness of the labor market varies substantially from the higher-paying practitioner and technical jobs to the lower-paying support occupations. In January, the latest month for which unemployment data are available, advertised vacancies for healthcare practitioners or technical occupations outnumbered the unemployed looking for work in this field by over 3 to 1, and the average wage in these occupations is $33.51/hour. In sharp contrast, the average wage for healthcare support occupations is $12.84/hour and there were about 2 unemployed looking for work in the field for every advertised vacancy.
METRO AREA HIGHLIGHTS
- Washington, D.C., Honolulu, and Milwaukee have the lowest Supply/Demand rates
In February, 51 of the 52 metropolitan areas for which data are reported separately posted over-the-year increases in the number of online advertised vacancies. Salt Lake City, Utah dipped by 1,400 to 19,300. Among the three metro areas with the largest numbers of advertised vacancies, the New York metro area was 16.8 percent above its February 2010 level, the Los Angeles metro area was 20.9 percent above its February 2010 level, and the Washington D.C. metro area was 12.9 percent above last year's level.
The number of unemployed exceeded the number of advertised vacancies in all of the 52 metro areas for which information is reported separately. Washington, DC continues to have the most favorable Supply/Demand rate (1.24) with the number of unemployed slightly more than the number of advertised vacancies. Honolulu, Milwaukee, Boston, and Minneapolis-St. Paul were metropolitan locations where there were approximately two unemployed looking for work for every advertised vacancy. On the other hand, metro areas in which the respective number of unemployed is substantially above the number of online advertised vacancies include Riverside, CA — where there are over 11 unemployed people for every advertised vacancy (11.17) — Sacramento (6.65), Miami (6.57), and Las Vegas (5.88). Supply/Demand rate data are for December 2010, the latest month for which unemployment data for local areas are available.
Revisions to the HWOL Time Series:
As a part of the annual HWOL program revision, a number of updates to the historical series were implemented with the release of the January 2011 data. To ensure the consistency and continuity of the time series data, all of the updates described below will be applied across the full HWOL time series history, from May 2005 through the current time period. With the January release, revised HWOL time series history from January 2007 forward are being released; the full time series history from May 2005 will be available with the March release on March 30, 2011. The 2011 revision included: adjustments to the HWOL job board coverage, elimination of "invalid" job ads, improvements to the unduplication methodology, improvements to the occupational coding software, and annual updates to the seasonal adjustment factors.
Time Series Summary
The levels in the revised series (see Chart below) are, on average, about 460,000 per month lower than the levels in the prior series; approximately 200,000 of this is due to the elimination of invalid job ads with the remainder attributable to adjustments to the job-board coverage and improvements in the unduplication methodology. As can be seen in the chart, the series turning points and the trends have remained basically unchanged (with the exception on the trend in the last half of 2010). Additionally, the overall losses of 1.7 million job ads during the series' downturn (April 2007 through April 2009) and the gains of 1.0 million job ads during the series' early recovery (April 2009 through April 2010) also remained basically unchanged. Specific details of the revision changes are outlined below.
Job Board Coverage
The HWOL program collects data on a daily basis from over 1,200 online job board sources. Each year, new sources are added as they emerge while some existing sources may be dropped if it is determined that they primarily aggregate their data from other job board sources. This year a more extensive job board review and analysis was performed for identifying any remaining aggregator job boards; this review has resulted in the elimination of several job boards. In combination with the unduplication improvements, these changes resulted in lowering the series levels by about 260,000 ads per month.
The HWOL program uses Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) autocoder software which codes over 99 percent of all ads to the 6-digit SOC and 8-digit O'Net level. The latest version of the autocoder incorporated a new feature for identifying and classifying "invalid" job ads into a new Miscellaneous category. This category contains jobs which would generally not be included in the official government employment and job openings data series and are now being classified as "invalid" job ads by the HWOL program. These ads include such categories as adult ads, get-rich-quick ads, human donors wanted ads, human test participants wanted, products/services-offered ads, job fair ads, and various other types of ads. The Miscellaneous category has now been dropped from the HWOL time series, and this change has resulted in lowering the series levels by an average of about 200,000 ads per month.
The HWOL program is initiating a new practice of calculating and publishing new seasonally adjusted series with the release of each year's January data. New seasonal factors are calculated using historical data from May 2005 through the most current December data.
Description of The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine™ Data Series:
The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine™ Data Series measures the number of new, first-time online jobs and jobs reposted from the previous month on more than 1,200 major Internet job sites and smaller job sites that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.
Like The Conference Board's long-running Help Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (which was published for over 55 years and discontinued in October 2008 but continues to be available for research), the new online series is not a direct measure of job vacancies. The level of ads in print and online can change for reasons not related to overall job demand.
With the December 1, 2008 release, HWOL began providing seasonally adjusted data for the U.S., the 9 Census regions and the 50 States. Seasonally adjusted data for occupations were provided beginning with the December 2009 release. This data series, for which the earliest data are for May 2005, continues to publish not seasonally adjusted data for 52 large metropolitan areas.
People using this data are urged to review the information on the database and methodology available on The Conference Board website and contact us with questions and comments. Background information and technical notes on this new series are available at: http://www.conference-board.org/data/helpwantedonline.cfm.
The underlying online job listings data for this series is provided by Wanted Technologies Corporation. Additional information on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data used in this release can be found on the BLS website, www.bls.gov.
The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.
WANTED Technologies Corporation
WANTED is a leading supplier of real-time sales and business intelligence solutions for the media classified and recruitment industries. Using its proprietary On-Demand data mining, lead generation and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) integrated technologies, WANTED aggregates real-time data from thousands of online job sites, real estate and newspaper sites, as well as corporate websites on a daily basis. WANTED's data is used to optimize sales and to implement marketing strategies within the classified ad departments of major media organizations, as well as by staffing firms, advertising agencies and human resources specialists. For more information, please visit: http://www.wantedtech.com.
SOURCE The Conference Board