Monday, March 05, 2012

Online Job Demand Improves in February and Supply/Demand Ratio is Lowest Since Nov. 2008

From today's Conference Board report on online labor demand:

"Online advertised vacancies rose 39,900 in February to 4,423,300, according to the Help Wanted OnLine Data Series. The February rise follows gains in December 2011 of 125,600 and 61,300 in January (see top chart). The Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.9 unemployed for every vacancy (see bottom chart); however, nationally there are still 8.4 million more unemployed than advertised vacancies.

“In a positive sign the Supply/Demand rate dipped below the 3.0 level for the first time since November 2008,” said Conference Board Vice-President June Shelp (see bottom chart). “This reflects both significant gains in labor demand as well as drops in unemployment levels since the end of the recession. Labor demand is up 227,000 over the past three months, continuing to narrow the gap between the unemployed and available jobs. With the monthly level of job demand around 4.4 million, labor demand is back in line with the pre-recession series high in 2007.”

MP: The levels for both total online job demand (4.4 million) and new ads (2.75 million) are above their pre-recession levels, and the Supply/Demand ratio dropped below 3.0 for the first time since November 2008, more than three years ago.  Overall employment levels are still far below pre-recession levels, but this is another sign that the labor market is gradually recovering and healing from the devastating effects of the 2007-2009 recession. 

14 Comments:

At 3/05/2012 10:52 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

If you look really, really hard, you can find bad news in these numbers.

Morgan? Vange? Juandos?

 
At 3/05/2012 10:54 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

It is good to see jobs being added. We do still have a long way to go, but I don't think any reasonably minded person was expecting this to be anything other than a jobless recovery.

I suspect we won't approach the pre-recession level of employment until post-2014, but this is certainly good news for 2012/2013.

 
At 3/05/2012 11:14 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

From the Conference Board report:

North Dakota has more job vacancies than unemployed people.

Mississippi can provide six unemployed for every advertised vacancy.

California had sixty percent more advertised openings than the next closest state, Texas. Yet, California still has four unemployed for every job posted, but the upward trend in hiring is encouraging.

 
At 3/05/2012 1:25 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

it would be interesting to see that chart a bit further back.

where was it in a really tight market like 2000?

it seems to me that there is likely an interesting relationship between this ratio and wages.

i would suspect that at high levels, wages would have downward pressure/be stagnant, but at a certain point there would be an inflection point at which upward wage pressure would become intense.

also:

what are they using as an unemployment series?

it looks from the release like they are using u3, but that seems a bit tricky as most of the drop in that measure of unemployment has come from people being dropped out of the labor force because they are "no longer looking for work" and it also ignores a large number of "loosely attached" workers and those that are "part time for economic reasons".

 
At 3/05/2012 1:31 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

it would be interesting to see that chart a bit further back

This series is brand new. It only goes back to May 2005.

 
At 3/05/2012 2:05 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

oh, yeah, i guess that's inevitable, isn't it? it's not like online ads were a big deal 15 years ago.

 
At 3/05/2012 2:47 PM, Blogger kmg said...

Interesting. So if Supply/Demand of 2.0 is associated with the full employment we saw in 2005-06, and we are presently at 2.9, perhaps that indicates the job market being not as bad as we think.

Unless the drop-outs are excluded from the denominator?

 
At 3/05/2012 2:58 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Morganovich-

The predecessor to the On-Line Help Wanted Ads Index is the Help Wanted Index. It measured the ads in print. The two series are roughly equilivent, but not completely. Unfortunately, that was discontinued in 2008 so it would be hard to make a comparison.

 
At 3/05/2012 3:00 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Unless the drop-outs are excluded from the denominator?

I believe they are. This is just the number in the labor force

 
At 3/05/2012 3:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

kmg-

i'm not sure i would call 2005-6 full employment.

labor force participation was about 1% point lower than in 1997-2000 even before the recession.

(it's currently 3-4 points lower and shows no sign of recovery)

that fact makes me a bit leery of these numbers as it would seem that most of the drop in the numerator is drop outs from the workforce, not people actually getting jobs.

u3 is a crummy stat that way.

 
At 3/05/2012 3:31 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

that fact makes me a bit leery of these numbers as it would seem that most of the drop in the numerator is drop outs from the workforce, not people actually getting jobs.

Actually, scratch all that. I just re-read the press release. The ratio discussed is the number of unemployed to the number of ads not labor force so there are no drop-outs here.

 
At 3/05/2012 3:43 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

"Actually, scratch all that. I just re-read the press release. The ratio discussed is the number of unemployed to the number of ads not labor force so there are no drop-outs here."

i think you were right the first time.

that ratio is using u3 as a numerator.

u3 has seen most of its drop come from a reduction in labor force (and labor force/population ratio).

as soon as you become "discouraged" and stop looking for work, "poof" you're gone. this ratio picks up that same issue by using u3 as a numerator.

it cannot tell discouraged workers dropping out from those finding jobs.

 
At 3/05/2012 4:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"If you look really, really hard, you can find bad news in these numbers"...

Well pseudo benny if you pull real, real hard your head can pop out and then be exposed to the real world...

I've noted in the not to distant past about the increase in jobs offerings online in certain sectors...

 
At 3/05/2012 4:17 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Speaking of jobs, Ohio seems to think they're going to need lots of oil field people...

From CBS: Study tags 65,000 jobs, $4.9B boost to Ohio shale

February 29, 2012

An academic team enlisted by Ohio's business sector released a study Tuesday that finds oil and gas drilling will mean more than 65,000 jobs and an almost $4.9 billion investment in the state's economy by 2014...

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home