New Job Ads Decrease Slightly Over the Past Year, But Remain Elevated

by Jake Procino

December 12, 2023

The number of new online help wanted job ads decreased 17% in Oregon between the third quarter of 2022 and the third quarter of 2023, according to the Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) data series. For comparison, new ads in the U.S. decreased by 15% in the same time period,

New online help wanted ads in the HWOL data series, tracked by The Conference Board-Burning Glass, are an indicator of demand for workers. While these ads provide a proxy for labor market demand, they do not provide an exact measure of job openings. Not all job openings are posted online, certain industries tend to post jobs online most often, and some jobs are posted online continuously as a means of collecting resumes without the intention of an immediate hire. Despite these factors, it still provides a way to measure trends in labor demand, employment, and occupational mix and growth.

New job ads averaged 40,076 per month in the third quarter of 2023. The number of new ads remains elevated even as Oregon’s nonfarm employment increased by 2.1% over the year ending in September 2023. The combination of unemployment dropping below 4.0% in 2023 and the large volume of new ads indicate that the hiring market remains competitive. There are only an estimated 2.0 unemployed workers for each new online job ad posted in third quarter 2023, a historically low ratio.
Table showing Oregon's Tight Labor Market: Few Unemployed Workers Available For Each New Online Job Ad in Third Quarter 2023

Eight of Oregon’s nine workforce board regions saw a small decrease in new ads in third quarter 2023 compared with a year earlier. Portland-Metro saw the largest percentage decrease, falling 20% from a year earlier. Despite the drop, the Portland-Metro workforce area saw the largest number of new online job ads with 37,415, accounting for nearly half of all new online job ads in Oregon. Rogue Valley was the only region that saw an increase in new job ads year-over-year, increasing by 10%.
Table showing New Help Wanted Ads in Third Quarter 2023

Top 20 Most-Advertised Occupations

Registered nurses saw the most new online help wanted ads in the third quarter of 2023 with 3,970 total new ads. The increase of 595 new job ads from the previous year (an 18% increase) was the largest numerical increase among all tracked occupations. Retail salespersons came in second with 2,419 new ads, though it was a decline of three job ads from last year. The wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives occupations had 1,879 new ads, decreasing 213 from the previous year, rounding out the top three.

Software developers, which had the 14th-most new ads in third quarter 2023 with 925, saw the largest numerical decrease in new ads. There were 1,251 fewer new ads for software developers in third quarter 2023 than a year prior, a decline of 57%.

It is important to keep in mind that not all occupations are represented online equally. Some jobs, like computer occupations, tend to be posted more frequently on online job boards, while other jobs, like construction or agriculture, are less likely to be posted online.

Table showing ' Top 20 Occupations with the Most New Help Wanted OnLine Ads Oregon, Third 2023

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