Some 2.4 million new online job ads were posted in March, rising sharply by 414,600, or 21 percent, from February, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series.

“Since March is not a particularly strong month in terms of labor demand, these latest numbers suggest the rise was not just due to seasonal factors,” said Gad Levanon, economist at The Conference Board. “The number of new ads in March was significantly higher than the number posted during the summer months, typically the peak period for hiring. Large numbers of new job ads are consistent with the robust employment numbers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in recent months, but other labor market indicators are weaker. So the overall job picture is still a bit mixed.”

The number of new ads for online jobs in March was the largest monthly count since the Help-Wanted OnLine series began in April 2005, and topped the previous high levels in late-summer 2005.

In March, there were 1.6 online job ads per 100 persons in the U.S. labor force, up from 1.33 in February and 1.44 in January.

New online jobs per 100 persons in the labor force increased in all nine Census regions in March compared to the February level. The increases were surprisingly similar across regions. The largest increase was in the West North Central (Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas) and the smallest increase was in the Pacific region, up 25 percent and 18 percent, respectively. New England remains the region with the highest number of new online jobs per 100 persons (2.45), and the East South Central with the lowest (1.02).

Adjusting jobs ads for the size of the local labor force, Denver with 3.71 job ads per 100 persons in the labor force leads the way among the 52 metropolitan areas for which data is published. On the West Coast, other metropolitan areas with more than 3 ads per 100 persons in the labor force include San Diego (3.65), San Francisco (3.59), Seattle-Tacoma (3.43) and San Jose (3.26). On the East Coast, Boston (3.52) and Washington, D.C. (3.38) posted high numbers of ads per 100 persons in the labor force. In March, the lowest number of online job ads per 100 persons in the labor force — and the only metropolitan area with less than one online job ad per 100 persons — was Detroit (0.87).

The Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series measures the number of new, first-time online jobs posted on more than 1,200 major Internet job boards and smaller job boards that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.

***

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