Job openings and the Help-Wanted Index
December 28, 2004
The job openings rate and the Help-Wanted Index have trends that are roughly similar.
However, the decrease from December 2000 to November 2001 was much sharper for the Help-Wanted Index, which experienced a drop of 42 percent, compared with a drop of 30 percent in the job openings rate.
The difference in scope and definition between the Help-Wanted Index and the job openings rate may account for some of this difference. A change in the way employers advertise open positions may also help to explain; for example, if a large number of employers stopped posting advertisements in the newspaper in favor of advertising on one of the many Internet sites, the decline in the Help-Wanted Index would not represent an economic movement. In addition, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) estimates from December 2000 through 2001 had larger measures of error than the 2002 and later estimates.
The job openings data come from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and the unemployment rate comes from the Current Population Survey. The "Help-Wanted Index" referenced above is the Conference Board's Help-Wanted Advertising Index, which is a measure of the volume of help-wanted advertising in major newspapers across the country. For additional information, see "The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey: what initial data show," by Kelly A. Clark, Monthly Labor Review, November 2004.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Job openings and the Help-Wanted Index on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2004/dec/wk4/art02.htm (visited January 29, 2015).
Three recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.
Women veterans in the labor force examines the demographic, employment, and unemployment characteristics of women veterans.
BLS Statistics by Occupation provides an overview of occupational employment and wages with an emphasis on STEM jobs and occupational data by typical entry-level education required.