Online Labor Demand Increased in April
The Conference Board-Lightcast Help Wanted OnLine Index measures the change in advertised online job vacancies over time, reflecting monthly trends in employment opportunities across the U.S.
May. 24, 2023
The Conference Board−Lightcast Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Index rose in April to 164.2 (July 2018=100), up from 161.5 in March. The 1.7 percent increase between March and April follows a 3.9 percent decrease between February and March. Overall, the Index is down 8.4 percent from one year ago.
The Conference Board-Lightcast Help Wanted OnLine Index measures the change in advertised online job vacancies over time, reflecting monthly trends in employment opportunities across the U.S. The Help Wanted OnLine Index is produced in collaboration with Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), the global leader in real-time labor market data and analysis. This collaboration enhances the Help Wanted OnLine program by providing additional insights into important labor market trends.
Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Index: United States, seasonally adjusted, April 2023
[Sources: The Conference Board, Lightcast, Bureau of Labor Statistics]
Prior to 2020, The Conference Board constructed the HWOL Index based solely on online job ads over time. Using a methodology designed to reduce non-economic volatility contributed by online job sources, the HWOL Index served an effective measure of changes in labor demand over time.
Beginning January 2020, the HWOL Index was refined as an estimate of change in job openings (based on BLS JOLTS), using a series of econometric models which incorporate job ads with other macroeconomic indicators such as employment and aggregate hours worked. By adopting a modeled approach which combines other data sources with data on online job ads, the HWOL Index more accurately tracks important movements in the labor market.
The Conference Board-Lightcast Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) Index measures changes over time in advertised online job vacancies, reflecting monthly trends in employment opportunities across the U.S. The HWOL Data Series aggregates the total number of ads available by month from the HWOL universe of online job ads. Ads in the HWOL universe are collected in real-time from over 50,000 online job domains including traditional job boards, corporate boards, social media sites, and smaller job sites that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.
Like The Conference Board’s long-running Help Wanted Advertising Index of print ads (which was published for over 55 years and discontinued in July 2008), Help Wanted OnLine measures help wanted advertising—i.e. labor demand. The HWOL Data Series began in May 2005 and was revised in December 2018. With the December 2018 revision, The Conference Board released the HWOL Index, improving upon the HWOL Data Series’ ability to assess local labor market trends by reducing volatility and non-economic noise and improving correlation with local labor market conditions.
In 2019, Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass) joined the Help Wanted OnLine program as the new sole provider of online job ad data for HWOL. With this partnership, the HWOL Data Series has been revised historically to reflect a new universe and methodology of online job advertisements and therefore cannot be used in conjunction with the pre-revised HWOL Data Series. The HWOL Data Series begins in January 2015 and the HWOL Index begins in December 2005. HWOL Index values prior to 2020 are based on job ads collected by CEB, Inc.