Online Job Openings Down In March

    March 30, 2009

The number of advertised online job openings dropped 100,000 to 3.2 million in March, according to the Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series out today.

The March decrease comes after declines of 507,000 in December and 506,000 In January and a small decrease of 6,600 in February. Overall it’s a decline of more than 1.2 million job openings, or over 25 percent, in the last four months.

Gad Levanon
Gad Levanon

"The March numbers indicate that we are not at the bottom of the employment cycle but that the declines in labor demand may be slowing," said Gad Levanon, Senior Economist at The Conference Board.

"The March decline is significant but substantially less than the 500,000 monthly drops we were seeing in December and January. When the Federal employment numbers are released this Friday, we still expect a very large drop and last month’s gap of 9 million between labor demand (HWOL) and supply (unemployment) will widen further."

There are some brighter areas in the South and Midwest including Florida, Minnesota, and Michigan, where the number of advertised job openings were up over the month.

Texas had the largest decline in March, down 16,500, while Florida posted the largest gains of 8,900.

"The next two months, April and May, are when employers typically ratchet up their spring hiring, and these months will be a good indication of whether labor demand is beginning to turn around," said Levanon.