Online Labor Demand down 158,000 in March

- Labor demand down 77,000 in Q1 of 2013

- Q1 '13 decline follows three years of strong Q1 growth since the end of the recession

- March is mixed with drops in Healthcare, Sales, and Office workers outstripping increases in Management, Business, and Computer workers

Apr 03, 2013, 10:00 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Online advertised vacancies dropped 158,000 in March to 4,898,700 in The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series released today. The March drop follows a small dip in February (44,400); the two combined offset the January gain. The Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.4 unemployed for every vacancy. In February, there were 7 million more unemployed than the number of advertised vacancies, down from 11.9 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

"Labor demand has been up and down for the last six months, leaving the new March level basically the same as it was in September 2012," said June Shelp, Vice President at The Conference Board. Sequestration, along with the indecision in Washington, has most likely taken its toll with employers in many industries hesitating to aggressively look for new workers. The unevenness in labor demand continues with unemployed workers in healthcare professions and business professions like computers, business, and finance finding ample job opportunities. Competition is stiffer with anywhere from 2 to 4 unemployed for every available opening in many lower-paying occupations (sales workers, office workers, food workers, transportation workers) (Table 7, page 14).

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