Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Help Wanted Online Job Ads in Oregon

Online ads are collected by Wanted Analytics and reported each month through The Conference Board's Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) data series. Ad volume can serve as one proxy for measuring current hiring demand. 

In October, the total HWOL ad volume of 60,000 in Oregon changed little from 59,600 total ads in September. Nationally, total ads dropped slightly from 4.8 million in September to 4.7 million in October. Total October HWOL ads did increase for both Oregon and the U.S. from the previous year though. Between October 2011 and October 2012, Oregon's total ad volume rose by 17 percent, while the U.S. ad volume increased by 11 percent. Both Oregon and the U.S. have shown positive year-to-year total ad gains each month since January 2010.

While Oregon has roughly mirrored the U.S. in year-over-year ad growth recently, the state's rebound to average pre-recession ad totals has lagged behind the U.S. In November 2011, the 12-month moving average of total HWOL ads across the U.S. returned to its point at the beginning of the recession. In Oregon, the 12-month moving average in October reached 81 percent of the pre-recession total ad volume.

The HWOL series is not a direct measure of job vacancies because the level of online ads may not accurately capture the number of available jobs. Employers often leave ads online as a way to collect resumes for future vacancies, or use one ad to fill multiple openings. Generally, the number of online ads slightly overestimates the number of job vacancies.  

For more information about The Conference Board's Help Wanted OnLine data series, you can contact State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks ( or me (! You can also refer to Nick's article about HWOL that was published earlier in 2012.

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