Online help-wanted ads fall in Ohio

The number of online help-wanted ads in Ohio fell by 9,300 last month, reflecting a sharp pullback in labor demand after several months of above average growth, The Conference Board reported Wednesday.

So far this year, Ohio has posted a net gain of 12,800 advertised vacancies, up about 8 percent from the same period last year, according to the nonprofit business research group. But more than half the gain came in the first half of the year.

“There has been a slowdown in the last five or six months, and we’re basically back to where we were on a national basis,” said June Shelp, vice president at The Conference Board, which reported advertised vacancies nationwide fell 77,800 in October to 4,735,600. “Ohio seems to have the same sort of pattern, and the gains the state had in the early part of the year are beginning to melt away.”

Online job listings in Ohio totaled 181,945 last month, up 7 percent from October 2011, according to The Conference Board. But last month’s total was down 4 percent from May.

Still, the cutback in online job listings doesn’t necessarily indicate weakness in the labor market in Ohio, which has seen unemployment fall to 7 percent - well below the national rate of 7.8 percent - and the addition of 88,700 non-farm jobs this year, ranking the state No. 4 in the nation.

“What’s happening in Ohio is not that dissimilar from what happened last year, where the first part of the year was much more aggressive and then employers began to cut back on advertised vacancies,” Shelp said. “There could be two reasons. One is they (employers) have got everybody they need, or they just don’t need many people anymore. That’s one thing I am not able to tell you with this particular data.”

The Conference Board does, however, track the ratio of unemployed workers to advertised vacancies online, otherwise known as the supply/demand rate. And the rate in Ohio is slightly lower than rate for the rest of the nation, indicating better than average labor market conditions.

In Ohio, there approximately 2.2 online advertised vacancies for every unemployed worker, while the supply/demand rate stands at 2.5 unemployed for every vacancy nationally.

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