Online advertised vacancies declined by 101,800 to 3,363,000 in September, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series (HWOL) released this week.
September losses partially offset the larger August gains (+169,000), leaving labor demand up by 67,000 over the past two months. Since the low point in April 2009, labor demand is up by 201,000, showing a modest upward trend following a five-month period of steep losses.
"While the trend has been modestly upward, and averaged 40,000 per month over the last five months, the labor market continues to have a hard time gaining momentum," says Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "The Conference Board Employment Trends Index, which has been basically flat for three straight months, also helps highlight the difficulty the labor market is facing. With a growing consensus of a weak recovery, businesses seem to be slow to boost advertising for vacant or new positions."