Help Wanted Ads Drop, Labor Supply-Demand Ratio Rises
Online help-wanted ads in New Hampshire declined again in November according to the Conference-Board, although the number of ads remains substantially higher than it was in November of 2011. All occupational categories saw a decline in help-wanted ads with the exception of construction, production and transportation workers. This is consistent with anecdotal and some empirical evidence about the demand for production workers impacting employment growth as discussed in a November 21 post. For the second month in a row the largest percentage decline in ads was in professional, technical, and scientific occupations, although this broad occupational grouping still has the largest year-over-year increase in help-wanted ads in New Hampshire between November of 2011 and November of 2012.
The chart shows recent trends in help-wanted advertising in New Hampshire, along with the ratio of unemployed workers in New Hampshire to the number of help-wanted ads, the “supply-demand ratio” for labor in the state. After falling to about 1.4 unemployed persons for every help-wanted ad in the state, the ratio has been slowly rising and now stands at about 1.7 unemployed for every help-wanted ad. Of course this ratio says nothing about the match between the occupations of job seekers and the occupations advertised in the help-wanted ads, but regular readers know it won’t likely be long before I offer another “skills gap” post that discusses that issue.