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Online Advertised Job Vacancies Showed Continued Weakness in May

Online advertised vacancies dropped 579,000 from May 2007 to May 2008.
Demand for employees fell in all areas of the country.

In May 2008, there were 3,795,400 online advertised job vacancies, a decline of 579,000 or 13.2 percent from the May 2007 level, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series™ (HWOL) released today. This is the third consecutive month of declines for the nation as a whole (year-over-year). In May, there were 2.5 advertised vacancies posted online for every 100 persons in the labor force, down from a high of 2.9 in May 2007.
“May shows a slight recovery from the large April decline, but overall the number of online advertised vacancies has been on a downward trend for the past several months. The demand for labor will likely be sluggish this summer,” said Gad Levanon, economist at The Conference Board. “This lackluster job outlook is clearly a contributing factor in consumer confidence shrinking to its lowest point in nearly two decades, as reported by The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey.” 
2,743,700 new online ads posted in May.
All nine Census Regions post over-the-year declines in labor demand.
In May, 2,743,700 of the 3,795,400 unduplicated online advertised vacancies were new ads that did not appear in April, while the remainder are reposted ads from the previous month. In May, a month expected to show a seasonal increase in labor demand, the number of total online advertised vacancies increased by 145,500 or 4 percent while new ads rose by 152,200 or 6 percent from April. However, the vulnerable labor demand is clear in the May year-over-year numbers where total ads fell 13.2 percent and new ads fell 2.5 percent.
The monthly national increase in advertised vacancies between April and May ’08 reflected marginal increases in ads in all nine Census regions. However, online advertised vacancies in each of the nine Census regions were below last year’s May levels. 
The number of advertised vacancies declined from May 2007 to May 2008 in 43 states (compared to 44 states in April 2008), and all the states experienced a slowing in the year-over-year growth rate. The April employment data released by the BLS indicates that 43 of the 50 states also experienced a slowing in their year-over-year growth rate of employment.
States where job seekers are continuing to see a large number of advertised vacancies include Alaska, Nevada and Colorado. Alaska posted 4.98 online advertised vacancies for every 100 persons in the state labor force, the highest rate in the nation. Alaska has held the number one position for nine months in a row. Nevada (4.17) and Colorado (4.14) were close behind in the number of advertised vacancies when adjusted for the size of the state labor force. Half of the top 10 states with the highest ads rate are west of the Mississippi and in addition to Alaska, Nevada and Colorado, include Arizona (3.74) and Washington (3.57). The remaining states were on the East Coast and include Delaware (3.90), Massachusetts (3.89), Maryland (3.77), Vermont (3.75) and Connecticut (3.55).
Online advertised vacancies in California, the state with the largest labor force in the nation, totaled 505,700 in May. The ad volume in California dropped by nearly 200,000 ads, 28 percent below the May 2007 level. The volume of online advertised vacancies in Texas (319,600) was down 13 percent and ads in New York (264,800) were down 16 percent from year ago levels.
Healthcare – Still Leads Occupations in Highest Demand.
“Many jobs in high demand are also, on average, among the highest paying occupations,” said Levanon. Healthcare practitioners (219,000) and Management (191,200) are the two occupations with the most number of ads posted online. According to the latest federal hourly wage data, wages average about $31 for healthcare practitioners and $46 an hour for management. Also in high demand are occupations in computer and mathematical (183,000), business and financial operations (170,200) and office and administrative support (169,000).

Among Top 52 Metro Areas, Only 7 Areas Post Over the Year Gains. 
In May, 45 of the 52 metro areas for which data is reported separately posted a smaller number of advertised vacancies than last year. The deterioration in the job market in some of the nation’s largest metro areas is further reflected in comparing the number of unemployed to the number of advertised vacancies. Since July 2007, the number of metro areas with a supply/demand rate of less than one has fallen from 23 areas to 11 areas.
The top metro areas in April as measured by most advertised vacancies per 100 persons in the local labor force included Austin (5.77), Milwaukee (5.57), Denver (4.93), San Jose (4.87), and San Francisco (4.84).
 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 boards and smaller job boards that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.
Like The Conference Board’s long running Help-Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (which has been published since 1951), the new online series is not a direct measure of job vacancies. The level of ads in both print and online may change for reasons not related to overall job demand.
Background information and technical notes on this new series are available at: The underlying 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,
The Conference Board, Non-partisan and not-for-profit, The Conference Board is the world’s leading business membership and research organization. Visit The Conference Board’s award-winning website at

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