Job seekers may take solace fact that there are a lot more job openings advertised online these days. The number of vacancies advertised online rose 438,000 in January to 4,273,000 according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Data Series. This increase now offsets approximately 80 percent of the 1.76 million drop in ad volume during the two-year downturn period from April 2007 through April 2009.
"The very strong seasonal gain to start 2011 is welcome news following seven months of essentially flat U.S. labor demand," said June Shelp, vice president at The Conference Board. "Last year, after a promising start (up about 350,000 in January 2010), labor demand fizzled, and the last half of 2010 was actually flat with no appreciable gains in job demand. Hopefully the January 2011 increase suggests that employers are seeing a pickup in their businesses and labor demand will continue to improve throughout this year."
State by state: The supply/demand rate for the United States in December stands at 3.78. That means that there are close to four unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy. The states where there were fewer than two unemployed for every advertised vacancy included North Dakota and South Dakota as well as Nebraska and Alaska (1.96). The state with the highest supply/demand rate is Mississippi, where there are almost eight unemployed workers for every online advertised vacancy.
Job by job: Among the top 10 occupation groups with the largest numbers of online advertised vacancies, is health care. Labor demand for health care practitioners and technical workers increased the most in January, led by a demand for registered nurses, as well as family and general practitioners. Additionally, occupations in a variety of office positions posted gains, as did management positions. Job oppenings for business and financial occupations also rose, as did the numbers for sales and related positions.
City by city: The New York metro area was 18 percent above its January 2010 level for online job postings, the Washington, D.C., metro area was 15.4 percent above its January 2010 level, and the Los Angeles metro area was 21.9 percent above last year's level. Salt Lake City's, numbers dipped. Washington, D.C., Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee, and Honolulu were the metropolitan locations with the most favorable supply/demand rates, where there were less than two unemployed looking for work, for every advertised vacancy. On the other hand, metro areas in which the number of unemployed is substantially above the number of online advertised vacancies include Riverside, Calif. -- where there are over nine unemployed people for every advertised vacancy (9.83), as well as Miami (5.95), Sacramento (5.72), and Detroit (5.06).