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

by Jake Procino

April 26, 2023

The number of new online help wanted job ads decreased 1% in Oregon between fourth quarter 2021 and fourth quarter 2022, according to The Conference Board-Burning Glass’s Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) data series. For the entire U.S. over the same time period, new ads decreased by 2%.

There were a total of 122,646 new online job ads in fourth quarter 2022 (a monthly average of 40,882). The number of new ads remains elevated even as Oregon’s nonfarm employment increased by 67,000 (3.5%) through 2022. While unemployment slowly crept up from 4.0% to 4.8% during 2022, the large volume of new ads indicates that the hiring market remains competitive. There are only an estimated 2.4 unemployed workers for each new online job ad posted in the fourth quarter, a historically low ratio.  
Table showing Oregon's Tight Labor Market: Few Unemployed Workers Available For Each New Online Job Ad in Fourth Quarter 2022 (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

Six of Oregon’s nine workforce board regions saw a small decrease in new ads in fourth quarter 2022 compared with a year earlier. Rogue Valley saw the largest percentage decrease, falling 10% from a year earlier. The three workforce areas seeing an increase in new online job ads were Eastern Oregon (21% increase year-over-year), Mid-Valley (11%), and Northwest Oregon (2%). The Portland-Metro workforce area saw the largest number of new online job ads with 58,025, accounting for nearly half of all new online job ads in Oregon.  
Table showing new help wanted ads in fourth quarter 2022

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 for a few reasons: 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. Other factors, such as changes in the price for advertising jobs on job board sites, can also affect the number of help wanted ads.

Even though the HWOL data series does not perfectly measure all job openings, it still provides a way to measure trends in labor demand, employment, and occupational mix and growth.

Top 20 Most-Advertised Occupations

The job category with the most new online help wanted ads in fourth quarter 2022 was registered nurses with 4,714 total new ads. The increase of 714 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 3,351 new ads, though it was a decline of 539 job ads from last year. All other managers comes in with 3,246 new ads, an increase of 638 from the previous year, rounding out the top three.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, which has the 17th-most new ads in fourth quarter 2022 with 1,286, saw the largest numerical decrease in new ads, with 1,615 fewer new ads than in fourth quarter 2021, a decline of 56%.

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, fourth quarter 2022

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