New, unduplicated online job ads across the United States decreased in July to 2.3 million, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series.

Last month’s supply of online job ads was down by 101,900, or 4 percent, from the previous month. In June, there were approximately 2.44 million job ads posted to more than 1,200 Internet job boards nationwide.

In July, there were 1.55 online job ads per 100 persons in the U.S. labor force, compared with 1.63 in June 2006, 1.57 in May and 1.51 in April. Between July 2005 and July 2006, new online job ads increased 19.2 percent.

“While some of the decline in the number of first-time new ads in July is due to the slowdown during the July 4th holiday, the growth in the number of new ads has slowed over the last several months,” said Gad Levanon, economist at The Conference Board. “This only adds to the mounting evidence that the U.S. labor market is slowing. Job openings and hires in the U.S. economy hit a plateau in recent months, while employment growth remains significantly below expectations for the fourth month in a row. Consumers are definitely feeling the job market tightening as revealed in The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index.”

New online job ads per 100 persons in the labor force decreased in all nine Census regions in July compared to the June level. The largest decreases for the month were in the New England and the West North Central regions, down 8 percent and 7 percent respectively. The smallest declines were in the Mountain region (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico), and the South Atlantic region (Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia), down 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

New England and the Pacific region lead the nation with the highest number of new online job ads per 100 persons (2.3), and the East South Central continues to have the lowest rate (0.97).

Despite this month’s decline, the number of new job ads was up in all nine Census regions over the July ’05 to July ’06 period. The largest increase was in the West South Central region (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas), up 47 percent over the year. Other areas with substantial year-over-year gains in online job ads were the Mountain and Pacific regions (26 percent and 25 percent, respectively).

In contrast, online job ads in the East South Central region (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee) increased slightly by 4.9 percent between July 2005 and July 2006. Other areas rising slower than the national average include the Middle Atlantic region (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), up 11.3 percent, the East North Central region (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin), up 10.8 percent, and the South Atlantic region (Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia), up 13.8 percent. “This OnLine Series is still very new and in a developmental stage, making the regional year-over-year changes something that should be interpreted with caution,” said Levanon.

In San Diego, the number of job ads for every 100 persons in the local labor force declined slightly to 3.8, down from its peak of 4.1 last month. This metro area has led the nation for the last four months.

Other metropolitan areas with a large number of ads per 100 persons in the labor force were concentrated on the East and West coasts and include San Francisco (3.45); Seattle-Tacoma (3.34); Boston (3.22); and San Jose (3.15).

In July, and in all the previous months in 2006, the Detroit metropolitan area, with less than one online job ad per 100 persons in the labor force (0.78), had the lowest number of ads adjusted for the labor force.

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