Online Labor Demand up 86,800 in August but flat thus far in 2013

-- Employer labor demand remains stalled at the December 2012 level

-- So far in 2013, gains in service occupations have been offset by declines in many professional and manufacturing occupations

Sep 04, 2013, 10:00 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Online advertised vacancies were up 86,800 in August to 4,974,900, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series released today. The modest August gain was not enough to offset earlier months' losses, leaving labor demand basically where it was eight months ago in December 2012. The July Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.4 unemployed for each vacancy, with a total of 6.6 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies.

"This has not been a great year for labor demand," said June Shelp, Vice President of The Conference Board. "While the churn in the labor market is there (with almost 5 million jobs advertised each month), the end results are disappointing. Thus far in 2013, ten of the 22 major occupational categories are down, offsetting increases in the 12 other groups."

This year's downturn in demand has hit higher-wage professional professions: architecture/engineering (-18,800); computer and math (-35,500); and management (-11,800). The growth has been in relatively low-wage service occupations such as transportation and material moving (+36,200); food service workers (+18,800); and building and grounds workers (+8,300). Demand for production workers also turned down this year, dropping 11,200. In 2013 employers are, however, seeking more construction workers (+14,800) and legal workers (+8,400).

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