You might have noticed that your online job search is taking a bit longer these days, and there are also more opportunities available. It's a sign of the times during the recovery; online advertised vacancies more than doubled in March, rising from 208,800 to 4,454,500. That's according to the most recent data from The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Data Series.
"Thus far in 2011, labor demand is looking strong," said June Shelp, Vice President at The Conference Board. "In the first quarter of 2011, the monthly increase in advertised vacancies has averaged about 200,000/month. That's good news after the overall anemic growth in labor demand over the last 11 months of 2010. In March, almost half of the advertised vacancies were new ads that were not there the previous month (new ads up 98,200). This is a further positive sign that employers are continuing to look for workers."
In your particular area
Among the regions, the South posted the largest gain in labor demand, with 86,100 more jobs posted, in March. Texas led the region with a rise of 16,700 openings and Florida increased by 10,600. North Carolina followed closely behind with a gain of 9,100 while Georgia gained 6,700. Maryland and Virginia increased 3,900 and 3,700, respectively. Among the less populous States in the South, Tennessee gained 5,800. Oklahoma rose 5,500, which is a gain of 14 percent, to 45,600 advertised vacancies in March. Alabama was up by 4,100, and South Carolina gained 2,200.
In March, the Midwest job postings rose 43,700. Missouri posted the largest increase with its gain of 8,600, a 12-percent increase, to 81,000 advertised vacancies. Indiana was up 11 percent (+6,400), and Michigan rose 8,100. Wisconsin and Ohio posted gains of 5,900 and 5,400 respectively while Illinois remained basically unchanged (an increase of 200). Among the States with smaller populations, Kansas increased by 2,300 and Iowa and Nebraska added 2,100 and 2,000 respectively.
The West gained 33,000 job posts in March and was led by the Mountain States. Arizona grew by 10,700, a gain of 12 percent, followed by Nevada, up 11 percent (+4,600), and Utah, also up 11 percent (+ 3,400). Colorado moved up by 1,400. Among the Pacific Coast States, Washington rose 2,800, Oregon increased 2,400, and California inched up by 1,700. Some of the less populous States posting increases included Idaho, New Mexico, and Alaska, rising by 1,700, 1,400, and 1,100, respectively.
The Northeast was up by 23,600 job postings in March. New York rose by 9,500 and was closely followed by New Jersey's gain of 8,600. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania posted gains of 2,900 and 2,500 respectively. Among the smaller States in New England, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island were up 1,600, 1,000, and 600, respectively. Vermont remained unchanged while Connecticut dipped by 500.
In your line of work
Among the top 10 occupation groups with the largest numbers of online advertised vacancies, labor demand for Office and Administrative Support workers increased by 35,800 in March to 485,300 and was led by a demand for tellers, receptionists and information clerks, and hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks. Job opportunities still remain challenging in this occupational category with 3.5 unemployed workers for every advertised vacancy.
Sales and Related occupations posted a gain of 28,300 to 589,300; this gain was led by a demand for first-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers and telemarketers. The number of unemployed in sales occupations remains above the number of advertised vacancies with just under 3 (2.6) unemployed for every advertised vacancy (February data).
Management positions rose by 11,800 to 456,600 and included a gain for food service managers. At the same time, Food Preparation and Serving Related positions grew by 20,900 to 151,500 with a rise in demand for a variety of jobs including waiters and waitresses, first-line supervisors and managers of food preparation and serving workers, and restaurant cooks. However, there are still over 8 unemployed workers (8.57) for every advertised vacancy (February data).
Among other occupations showing gains in March were Building and Grounds workers, up 6,700 to 58,100, Construction and Extraction jobs, up 4,200 to 62,900, Transportation and Material Moving occupations, up 15,400, and Production jobs, up 8,300. Specific advertised vacancies showing increases included heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers and laborers and hand freight, stock, and material movers