Beginning with the December 2018 release, The Conference Board launched the Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Index and the revised Help Wanted OnLine® Data Series. The HWOL Index measures changes over time in advertised online job vacancies, improving upon the prior Data Series’ ability to assess local labor market trends. The index does not measure differences in the number of ads among geographies, occupations, or industries. It measures the change in ads relative to the base period (July 2018=100). An increase in the index is associated with an increase in job openings and hiring activity in the US economy. The revised HWOL Data Series reflects a new methodology and universe of online job ads. Both the revised HWOL Data Series and the HWOL Index begin in January 2012 (see technical note).
“Despite the declines in October and November, the HWOL Index still remains at a level consistent with strong hiring activity,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “We expect employment growth to remain strong and labor turnover rates to increase as the labor market gets tighter. Recruiters will be as busy as ever finding qualified workers for new jobs and replacing workers who have moved on to other jobs. With the slack in the labor market shrinking, the average time to fill job openings is likely to keep breaking records. In such an environment, we expect employers to continue raising wages faster, accelerating wage growth by about 0.5 percentage points by the end of 2019.”
Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business show and an Editor at TTU, said “it is really difficult to interpret what the long term implications are, if any. Overall, the economy is very robust and continues to expand. However, there is absolutely no doubt that business decision makers continued to have apprehension when it comes to the implications of the tariffs on the macro economy.”
The release schedule, national historic table and technical note are available on The Conference Board website, http://www.conference-board.org/data/helpwantedonline.cfm. The underlying data for The Conference Board HWOL is collected by CEB, Inc.