Report: Online Labor Demand Rises in January

New York — Feb. 1

Online advertised vacancies rose 61,300 in January to 4,383,400, according to the Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Data Series. Nationally, there are 8.8 million more unemployed than advertised vacancies, and the supply/demand rate stands at three unemployed for every vacancy.

“The monthly increase for the last two months (December and January) averaged 93,000/month, giving hope that labor demand will continue to improve,” said June Shelp, vice president at the Conference Board.

Overall labor demand has grown by more than 1.6 million since the recession’s low point in April 2009. The current monthly level of labor demand of about 4.4 million is in line with the pre-recession high in 2007 and reflects a healthy level of turnover/churning in the U.S. labor market, which is good news for the unemployed and job changers.

However, while the gap between the number of unemployed and advertised vacancies has also narrowed to three unemployed for every ad, down from a high of 5.02 (supply/demand rate) at the depth of the recession in April 2009, it still remains well above the November 2007 rate of 1.73, prior to the onset of the recession.

The trend in labor demand for the U.S. as a whole is flat; however, the trends among the largest states differ significantly. In five of the 20 largest states the trend for labor demand is up (Georgia and Texas in the South, Illinois in the Midwest, and Arizona and Colorado in the West).

In another 10 out of the 20 largest states, the trend in online labor demand is flat. On the other hand, the trend continues to be down in five other states (Massachusetts in the Northeast, Maryland and Virginia in the South, Missouri in the Midwest, and Washington in the West).

In January, the West rose 8,700, reflecting gains in all four of its largest states.California had the largest increase, 26,800. During the last two months, California gained 38,500. Washington was next with a gain of 2,400. Colorado rose 2,100. Arizona showed little change with a slight gain of 100.

Over the last five months, Arizona has gained 5,200 and now stands at 79,600. Among the less populous states in the region, Utah lost 2,600, Nevada declined by 2,100 and Oregon fell by 1,000.

Source: the Conference Board