- North Carolina, Minnesota, Ohio, and Washington continue their upward trend, while many of the large States saw a flattening or downturn in demand beginning in the 2nd quarter
Online advertised vacancies were down 217,000 in July to 4,154,500, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series. The July drop follows a decline of 100,000 in June after a basically flat period in April and May. The Supply/Demand rate stands at 3.22, indicating there were just over 3 unemployed for every online advertised vacancy in June, the latest monthly data available for unemployment.
“The national trend in labor demand, while positive in the first quarter of 2011, turned negative in the second quarter. And with the July loss, monthly labor demand is now 54,000 below the January level,” said June Shelp, Vice President at The Conference Board. Among the largest states, the pattern in job demand now varies from positive in North Carolina, Minnesota, Ohio, and Washington to steady in Texas, Illinois, and Michigan and down in California and New York. Occupations also present a mixed picture with the demand for workers in food services (typically lower-wage occupations) up since January. However, there are still 7 unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy in this profession. In contrast, the demand for healthcare professionals (generally a high-wage occupation) is down since January, but there are 2 advertised vacancies available for every job-seeker.
REGIONAL AND STATE HIGHLIGHTS
- Like the U.S., many States now have flat or downward trends
- Northeast fairs best while other regions see large drops
In July, the Northeast posted the smallest decline, down 4,100. Among the large States in the region, Pennsylvania’s gain of 6,700 to 173,000 and New Jersey’s gain of 900 were offset by declines in other states including New York, down 5,800, and Massachusetts, down 5,200. Connecticut dropped by 3,200 and New Hampshire fell 300 while other New England States posted small gains: Rhode Island (+400) and Vermont (+800).
The South was down 49,800 in July, reflecting drops in several of the large states. Georgia declined 16,500 to 109,600, and Texas was down 10,300 to 281,100. Maryland declined by 9,600, and Virginia fell by 2,500. Florida had a slight drop of 600 while North Carolina remained unchanged at 110,100. Among the smaller states in the South, Alabama and Arkansas fell by 2,700 and 900 respectively. States posting increases in advertised vacancies in July included Tennessee (+500) and Oklahoma (+800).
In July, the West declined by 43,300. The largest monthly drop in advertised vacancies was in California, down 21,700 to a total of 459,900. Arizona and Colorado both posted declines of 5,300 while Washington State fell by 2,000. Other States in the West posting declines included Nevada, down 4,600, Idaho, down 2,700, and Utah, down 900. With 22,600 advertised vacancies, New Mexico was one of the States with an increase in July (+600).
The Midwest dropped by 33,700 with declines in a number of its larger States including Illinois, which declined 11,600, Minnesota, down 7,800, and Wisconsin with a slight decline of 1,000. Other large States in the region with July declines included Ohio, down 6,400, and Michigan, which dipped by 3,500 to 119,000. However, since January 2011, labor demand in Ohio and Michigan is up 16,300 and 12,800 respectively. Among the less populous States in the region, Iowa fell 1,300 and Indiana rose by 1,800 to a total of 68,200. North Dakota and South Dakota fell 800 and 900 respectively.
The Supply/Demand rate for the U.S. in June (the latest month for which unemployment numbers are available) stood at 3.22, indicating that there are just over three unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. Nationally, there are 9.7 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 Nebraska (1.42), New Hampshire (1.55), South Dakota (1.56), and Alaska (1.59). The State with the highest Supply/Demand rate is Mississippi (7.92), where there are nearly 8 unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. There are a number of States in which there are over four unemployed for every advertised vacancy. These include Kentucky (5.16), South Carolina (4.67), Alabama (4.66), West Virginia (4.53), and California (4.43).
It should be noted that the Supply/Demand rate only provides a measure of relative tightness of the individual State labor markets and does not suggest that the occupations of the unemployed directly align with the occupations of the advertised vacancies (see Occupational Highlights section).
- Demand for workers in Construction and extraction up by about one third since January 2011, but there are 17 unemployed seeking work for every ad
- Demand for Food-service workers was also up by 33,000 since January, but there are still 7 unemployed for every vacancy
Changes for the Month of July
Among the top 10 occupation groups with the largest numbers of online advertised vacancies, Food Preparation and Serving Related occupations posted the only July increase in the number of advertised vacancies, up 13,700 to 149,600. Since January 2011 this occupation group has posted a healthy gain of 32,900. However, unemployed workers in these occupations still outnumber advertised vacancies by 7.28 to one (based on June data, the latest unemployment data available). Healthcare Practitioners and Technical occupations posted the largest decrease, 61,200, to 487,500 and were down 125,100 since January 2011. Occupations that experienced losses include Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, and Occupational Therapists. The number of advertised vacancies in this occupational category continues to outnumber job-seekers by over two to one.
Demand for Management occupations fell by 41,100 to 411,900. Occupations that underwent declines include Branch or Department Financial Managers, Marketing Managers, Sales Managers, and Medical and Health Services Managers. The number of unemployed in Management occupations remains above the number of advertised vacancies with just under 2 (1.6) unemployed for every advertised vacancy.
In July, labor demand for Computer and Mathematical Science workers declined by 28,100 to 572,900, led by a decrease in demand for Computer Software Engineers (Applications), Computer Systems Analysts, and Computer Support Specialists. Job opportunities still remain favorable in this occupational category with 5 ads for every job-seeker (S/D of 0.22).
Supply/Demand for Selected Occupations
“Since January this year, the number of advertised vacancies has risen for workers in Food preparation and service jobs (+32,900) and Sales positions (+29,600), but there are still more unemployed seeking work in these professions than advertised vacancies,” said Shelp. The job market is still tough for workers seeking work in food preparation and service positions with 7 job-seekers for every advertised opening (June data, the latest unemployment data available). The situation is more favorable for those seeking sales jobs, where there are not quite 3 unemployed for every opening. Since January, labor demand is also up for Construction jobs (+17,600), but the number of unemployed outnumbers the vacancies by 20 to one.
Among high-paying occupations, Computer and mathematical science occupations were up a modest 6 percent (31,200) since January, while Management positions were down slightly (-13,800). Community and social service positions were down 13,300, a drop of just over 20 percent since January. Based on June data, there are about 2 unemployed for every advertised vacancy in Community and social service (2.1) and Management (1.6) while there are 5 openings for every unemployed job seeker in Computer and mathematical science (0.22).
METRO AREA HIGHLIGHTS
- Washington, D.C., Oklahoma City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Boston have the lowest Supply/Demand rates
In July, all of the 52 metropolitan areas for which data are reported separately posted over-the-year increases in the number of online advertised vacancies. Among the three metro areas with the largest numbers of advertised vacancies, the New York metro area was 5.4 percent above its July 2010 level, the Los Angeles metro area was 14.6 percent above last year’s level, and the Washington, D.C. metro area was 1.5 percent above its July 2010 level.
The number of unemployed exceeded the number of advertised vacancies in all of the 52 metro areas for which information is reported separately. Washington, DC continues to have the most favorable Supply/Demand rate (1.11) with about one advertised vacancy for every unemployed worker. Oklahoma City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston, Honolulu, Baltimore, and Salt Lake City were metropolitan locations where there were just fewer than two unemployed looking for work for every advertised vacancy. On the other hand, metro areas in which the respective number of unemployed is substantially above the number of online advertised vacancies include Riverside, CA — where there are over eight unemployed people for every advertised vacancy (8.27) — Sacramento (4.98), Miami (4.80), and Los Angeles (4.20). Supply/Demand rate data are for May 2011, the latest month for which unemployment data for local areas are available.