REGIONAL AND STATE HIGHLIGHTS
- Labor demand trends are positive for all 20 of the largest States in the U.S.
- 10 of the 20 largest States are now at a series high in labor demand (MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, OH, PA, TX, VA, WI)
In April the South gained 35,800 advertised vacancies with gains in all six of its largest States. Four States (Maryland, Texas, North Carolina, and Virginia) were at their highest levels since the HWOL series began. Maryland experienced the largest April gain, 10,800, for a combined three-month gain of 20,400. Texas was up 1,900 for a gain of 21,500 over the last three months, and North Carolina gained 4,600 in April while Virginia was up 100. Georgia was up 4,100 in April. Florida rose 6,900 for a three-month gain of 15,800. Among the less populous States in the South, Tennessee gained 2,300, Louisiana gained 700, and South Carolina gained 400, while Arkansas dropped 1,600.
In The Midwest region labor demand gained 35,500 in April. Five of the largest States (Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin) are at their highest levels since the HWOL series began. Ohio experienced the largest gain, 7,000, to 188,900 advertised vacancies. Ohio is up 20,600 over the past three months with Cleveland and Columbus up 5,800 and 4,800, respectively. Minnesota rose 5,800 while Michigan gained 5,700, and both States were at their series highs. Illinois gained 3,700. Wisconsin rose 3,500 to its highest level. Missouri was up 200 and is also at its highest level. Among the less populous States in the Midwest, North Dakota rose 5,600, Indiana gained 2,400, and Kansas and South Dakota each rose 400.
Labor demand in April in the Northeast rose 6,100. Pennsylvania was up 2,600 to its highest level at 190,000 advertised vacancies. New York rose 6,100 in April and was up 18,300 over the past three months, with Rochester up 12 percent, Buffalo up 10.6 percent, and the New York metro area up 5 percent. New Jersey rose 4,500 for a combined three-month gain of 14,300. Massachusetts rose 400. Among the smaller States in the Northeast, the number of advertised vacancies in Connecticut fell by 2,600. New Hampshire gained 1,800 in April, Rhode Island gained 1,100, and Maine rose 500.
The West posted the smallest gain, 1,200, in April. Labor demand in Washington, however, was up 2,700 to its highest level of 115,200. California lost 10,500 vacancies due to losses in all six of its largest metropolitan areas, which largely offset the gains from other States in the region. Arizona and Colorado gained 3,100 and 2,200, respectively. Among the less populous States in the region, Oregon rose 1,700, Nevada rose 1,500, and Utah rose 600.
The Supply/Demand rate for the U.S. in March (the latest month for which the national unemployment number is available) stood at 2.71, indicating that there are slightly less than 3 unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. Nationally, there are 8 million more unemployed workers than advertised vacancies.
The Supply/Demand rates for the States are also for March 2012, the latest month available for unemployment data. The number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed only in North Dakota, where the Supply/Demand rate was 0.82. States with the next lowest rates included: Alaska (1.00), South Dakota (1.14), Nebraska (1.16), Vermont (1.25), Minnesota (1.53), and New Hampshire (1.59) (Table 4). The State with the highest Supply/Demand rate is Mississippi (5.27), where there were over 5 unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. Nevada had 4 unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy (4.02).
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).
METRO AREA HIGHLIGHTS
- 13 of the 20 largest metro areas posted gains in labor demand in April
- Seventeen of the 52 largest metropolitan areas reached their highest levels of labor demand since the HWOL series began in May 2005
In April, 13 of the 20 large MSAs posted increases in the number of online advertised vacancies. Overall, 36 of the 52 metropolitan areas for which data are reported separately also showed increases in April.
A number of the largest metro areas have shown strength since the official end of the recession in June 2009. Nine have posted increases of over 100 percent since then. The top four of these are Cleveland (up 146%), Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 128%), Detroit (up 126%), and Columbus (up 108%).
Fifteen MSAs had Supply/Demand rates in February 2012 (the latest available data for unemployment) lower than 2, indicating there are fewer than two unemployed for every advertised vacancy (See Table C). Washington, DC continues to have the most favorable Supply/Demand rate (1.13), with just over one advertised vacancy for every unemployed worker. Minneapolis-St. Paul (1.37), Oklahoma City (1.50), Boston (1.51), and Salt Lake City (1.57) were had the next lowest Supply/Demand rates.
Metro areas where the number of unemployed is substantially above the number of online advertised vacancies include Riverside, CA, with nearly eight unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy (7.87); Las Vegas (4.52); Miami (4.36); Sacramento (4.29); and Los Angeles (4.01). Supply/Demand rate data are for February 2012, the latest month for which unemployment data for local areas are available.
- Labor demand for Office and administrative support and Legal professions up this year (See pages 6-8)
- Demand for Healthcare practitioners dipped in April, but job opportunities continue to outnumber unemployed looking for jobs
Changes for the Month of April
In April, 17 of the 22 major occupational groups in the Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) posted gains, four declined (Healthcare Practitioners and Technical; Food Preparation and Serving-Related; Architecture and Engineering; and Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media), and one remained constant (Protective Service).
Among the top-10 occupational groups with the largest numbers of online advertised vacancies, demand for Office and Administrative Support occupations rose 21,000, to 498,000 with a gain of 71,100 since January. Largely responsible for the April increase was higher demand for Customer Service Representatives and First-Line Supervisors /Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers. The number of unemployed in these occupations remains above the number of advertised vacancies, with 3.31 unemployed for every advertised vacancy.
Labor demand for Sales and Related workers rose 13,000 to 609,500 (Table B) and was led by an increase in demand for Retail Salespeople and First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers. The number of unemployed in this occupational category continues to outnumber the number of advertised vacancies by over 2 to 1 (S/D of 2.25) but is substantially below the 4+ unemployed for every available advertised vacancy in April and May 2009.
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical occupations fell 17,700 in April to 560,400. Largely responsible for the drop were decreased advertised vacancies for Physical and Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists. The number of advertised vacancies in this occupational category continues to be quite favorable with demand outnumbering job-seekers by 2.3 to 1 (0.44 S/D).
Recent Trends in Two Office/White Collar Occupations — Legal and Office & Administrative Support Workers
“In the last three months labor demand picked up in two traditional white-collar office occupations — legal and office and administrative support,” said Shelp. “These recent gains are a welcome sign that these occupations are now finally posting advertised vacancies after a sluggish performance last year.”
Legal: The number of advertised vacancies for legal positions slid for two years from March 2007 to March 2009, followed by modest gains in 2010 that slipped away the next year. Since January 2012, however, the number of legal vacancies has risen by 5,600, or 26 percent. Nationally the legal jobs in highest demand in April included Lawyers, as well as Paralegals and Legal Assistants. Lawyers were in higher demand in most states with the highest demand, in terms of numbers of openings, in the largest States including California, New York, Florida, Texas, as well as the Nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Industries seeking legal professionals varied as well with demand in Insurance, Pharmaceuticals, Software, and Public Administration.
In the legal profession there are still over two unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy, but it has improved from the situation in early 2009, when there were about 3 unemployed for every vacancy.
Office and Administrative: Labor demand for office and administrative workers reached its peak in April 2007 at 617,000, and drifted down in until early 2008 when labor demand plummeted. From February 2008 to November 2009 the number of advertised vacancies dropped by almost half from 585,000 to 315,000. Since then the recovery for white collar office jobs has been slow but has picked up in the last three months. Demand for Office and administrative workers rose 71,100, or 17 percent, since January of this year to 498,000 in April.
Nationally the office and administrative jobs in highest demand included Customer Service Representatives, Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, and First-Line Supervisors / Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers. Office and administrative workers were in demand in across many states with the highest volume in the more populous states of California, Texas, and Florida. In California the highest demand was for Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants; in Texas and Florida the highest demand was for Customer Service Representatives.
There were still over three unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy in office and administrative jobs, but it has improved from the situation throughout 2010, when there were over four unemployed for every vacancy.