Online Labor Demand Declined in November

Staff Report

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Index declined in November. The Index now stands at 97.1 (July 2018=100), down from 99.8 in October.

Beginning with the December 2018 release, The Conference Board launched the Help Wanted OnLine Index and the revised Help Wanted OnLine Data Series. The HWOL Index measures changes over time in advertised online job vacancies, improving upon the prior Data Series' ability to assess local labor market trends. The index does not measure differences in the number of ads among geographies, occupations, or industries. It measures the change in ads relative to the base period (July 2018=100). An increase in the index is associated with an increase in job openings and hiring activity in the US economy. The revised HWOL Data Series reflects a new methodology and universe of online job ads. Both the revised HWOL Data Series and the HWOL Index begin in January 2012.

"Despite the declines in October and November, the HWOL Index still remains at a level consistent with strong hiring activity," said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. "We expect employment growth to remain strong and labor turnover rates to increase as the labor market gets tighter. Recruiters will be as busy as ever finding qualified workers for new jobs and replacing workers who have moved on to other jobs. With the slack in the labor market shrinking, the average time to fill job openings is likely to keep breaking records. In such an environment, we expect employers to continue raising wages faster, accelerating wage growth by about 0.5 percentage points by the end of 2019."