Online advertised vacancies dipped slightly by 13,600 in October to 3,933,400, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Data Series.  The October drop follows a decline of 44,000 in September and a decrease of 164,000 in August.  The Supply/Demand rate stands at 3.54, indicating there were 3.5 unemployed for every online advertised vacancy in September, the latest monthly data available for unemployment.

“The good news is that labor demand did not deteriorate further in October, but at the same time we have no clear sign that demand is picking up,” said June Shelp, vice president at The Conference Board. The drop of 513,000 in demand over the last seven months has largely offset the gain of 763,000 in early 2011 and narrowed the average monthly gain for 2011 to 25,000.

In October, occupational categories that continued to decline in labor demand included both Legal and Management occupations. Office and administrative support occupations were brighter; they posted a gain of 47,000 over the last two months.

 

Regional & State Highlights (October): 

The Midwest and West dip while the Northeast and South hold steady.

Pennsylvania, among the 20 largest States, is flat while other States show an overall downward trend

The Midwest dipped 14,500, reflecting losses in 5 out of 6 of its largest States.

Minnesota was the only one of the larger states posting a gain (+2,500) in October. This was the first monthly gain for Minnesota since June 2011.

Ohio and Michigan experienced declines of 3,900 and 3,100 respectively in October while advertised vacancies in Missouri were down 2,100.

Illinois and Wisconsin dropped 1,400 and 600 respectively, and both were states that have seen declines in advertised vacancies over the last few months.

Among the less populous States in the region, Indiana and Iowa fell 1,900 and 1,300 respectively while North Dakota and South Dakota gained 500 and 200 respectively.

Labor demand in the West was down slightly by 13,900 in October and was led by Washington State, which lost 9,300.

California, the region’s largest State, rose 1,900 after a combined loss of 59,000 for the previous four months.

Arizona remained virtually unchanged with a slight gain of 100.

Colorado and Oregon declined by 600 and 100, respectively. Over the past five months, Oregon has slipped by a total of 9,800.

Among the small states in the West, Utah gained 500, New Mexico dropped 1,300, Idaho fell 500, and Nevada lost 400.

The Northeast rose slightly by 13,600, reflecting gains in 3 of 4 of its large States.

Pennsylvania experienced the largest increase, 6,200.

New York gained 4,500 after a combined 6-month loss of 51,000.

New Jersey rose 3,300, after two months of declines.

Labor demand in Massachusetts was basically unchanged in October (-200).  Over the last five months, advertised vacancies in Massachusetts have declined nearly 20,000.

Among the smaller States in the region, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Connecticut gained 900, 500, and 200 respectively while New Hampshire dropped 500.

The South also posted a modest increase of 4,700, reflecting slight gains in four out of six of its large States in October.

Florida experienced the largest gain, 4,200.

Next was Georgia with a gain of 2,700, partially offsetting a combined 4-month loss of 33,100.

Texas gained 2,600, and North Carolina rose 1,600.

Maryland dropped 2,800.  Since May 2011, labor demand in Maryland has slipped by over 27,300.

Virginia fell 1,000 for a combined 5-month drop of nearly 15,000.

Among the smaller States in the South, Alabama dropped 1,300, Arkansas lost 1,000, and Oklahoma fell a mere 100 while Tennessee gained 1,000.

The Supply/Demand rate for the U.S. in September (the latest month for which unemployment numbers are available) stood at 3.54, indicating that there are close to 4 unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy.  Nationally, there are 10 million more unemployed workers than advertised vacancies.

The number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed only in North Dakota, where the Supply/Demand rate was 0.89.  States with the next lowest rates included South Dakota (1.46), Nebraska (1.52), Vermont (1.71), Alaska (1.78), and New Hampshire (1.95). The State with the highest Supply/Demand rate is Mississippi (7.73), where there are close to 8 unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. There are a few other States in which there are at least five unemployed for every advertised vacancy.  These include South Carolina (5.17), California (5.08), Kentucky (5.01), and Alabama (5.00).

 

Occupational Highlights (October):

Demand for Office and Administrative Support shows an upward bounce.

Ads for Production workers and Sales staff level off following several months of declines.

Twelve of the twenty-two Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC codes) that are reported separately declined while nine posted some gains and one, Community and Social Services, was unchanged.  For most of the occupational categories the October change, whether up or down, was modest.

Among the top ten occupation groups with the largest numbers of online advertised vacancies, demand for Office and Administrative Support occupations rose 30,100 to 468,700.  This followed a September rise of 17,000.

Occupations that underwent increases in October included Receptionists and Information Clerks, Customer Service Representatives, and Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants. The number of unemployed in these occupations remains above the number of advertised vacancies with nearly 4 (3.81) unemployed for every advertised vacancy.

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical occupations, in contrast, posted the largest decrease, 25,000, to 506,600.  Largely responsible for the drop were decreased advertised vacancies for Registered Nurses and Family and General Practitioners. However, the number of advertised vacancies in this occupational category continues to outnumber job-seekers by 2.6 to one (0.38 S/D based on September data, the latest unemployment data available).

Labor demand for Management workers also declined in October, down 6,000 to 371,800, led largely by a decrease in demand for Medical and Health Services Managers and Marketing Managers. Demand for workers in this occupational category has fallen 96,000 since May.  There are close to 2 unemployed for every advertised vacancy in this occupational category (S/D of 1.91).

Two occupations posting increases in October included Transportation and Material Moving and Sales and Related.  Demand for Transportation and Material Moving workers rose 8,900 to 198,900.  This increase was led by an increase in demand for Truck Drivers.  The number of unemployed in this occupational category continues to outnumber the number of advertised vacancies by close to 6 to 1 (S/D of 5.58).

Labor demand for Sales and Related workers rose 8,700 to 510,700. This increase, following a September drop of nearly 20,000, was led by an increase in demand for Retail Salespeople. The number of unemployed in this occupational category continues to outnumber the number of advertised vacancies by about 3 to 1 (S/D of 3.11).

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.