Employment: Job demand online drops 70,200 in November

The Conference Board reports overall job demand down 264,000 in the last three months. Conditions expected to show further deterioration.
By Control Engineering Staff December 3, 2008

New York, NY — Online advertisements of computer and mathematical job vacancies dropped to 569,600 in November, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series (HWOL) released Dec. 3, 2008. Overall, online advertised vacancies declined 70,200 to 4,369,200 in November. The loss brought the cumulative
“Online advertised vacancies began slipping in mid-2007, some six months before the official beginning of the recession, and are now at levels that are over 500,000 below the May 2007 peak,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board . “Some of the largest current decline is in business, financial and management occupations, but labor demand is down as well in a wide range of other jobs.”

Chart 1: Labor supply vs. labor demand
The spread between unemployed workers and online job postings continued to widen through November, 2008.

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The HWOL 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. The underlying data for this series is provided by Wanted Technologies Corporation , with additional information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .
The gap between the number of unemployed and online advertised vacancies was just over 5.6 million in October. “With the November drop in labor demand, and an anticipated increase in the number of unemployed when the federal unemployment numbers for November are released on Friday [Dec. 5], we expect that gap to widen even more,” said Levanon.
The effect of lower employer demand combined with increasing unemployment makes it more difficult for the unemployed to find jobs. Lower labor demand is also keeping a downward pressure on employment levels, which turned lower ten months ago in January 2008.
High-paying jobs in management, business/finance, and architecture/engineering make up about 60% of the drop in over-the-year online advertised vacancies in November. The slowing economy has also negatively impacted other large lower-wage occupational groups including sales and related workers (-69,900 over-the-year), transportation and material moving (-30,100), and installation, maintenance, and repair (-24,900). Advertised vacancies in production occupations also declined by 10,000 in November.
Non-partisan and not-for-profit, The Conference Board is a leading business membership and research organization. It produces The Consumer Confidence Index and the Leading Economic Indicators for the U.S. and other major nations, as well as a range of authoritative reports on corporate governance and ethics, human resources and diversity, executive compensation, and corporate citizenship.
C.G. Masi , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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