Rogue Valley Help Wanted Online Job Listings – Annual Summary

by Guy Tauer

December 6, 2017

The Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online data is helpful in gauging the current demand for workers, because this tool captures most internet based job listings from many different sources. The HWOL data offer details about the job listings, such as names of the hiring employers and types of jobs, as well as skills and certifications wanted by employers.

In addition to capturing current demand in the monthly snapshot of online job postings, we can also compile summaries of online job postings on an annual or most recent 12 month time period. This helps to mitigate seasonal trends; for example, “wildland firefighters” might be a top occupation for online ads during May or June, but wouldn’t likely have many ads in the winter months.

Comparisons over time became more difficult when Craigslist first initiated and then expanded the cost of posting a job opening, depending on the city. This change occurred in late 2016 for the Medford and Grants Pass areas, so changes over time in the number and types of jobs posted online could be a reflection of the pay-per-ad changes.

Job openings in some industries and occupations are more likely to be captured in HWOL job summaries. For example, over the past 12 months, there were only 29 online job postings for waiters/ waitresses in Jackson County. It’s quite probable that there were many more who found jobs in Jackson County in that occupation during the past year. There are many ways that job openings get filled outside of internet job postings. Companies may have resumes on file and when a job opening occurs, they do their own recruitment in-house. Other examples include placing recruitment signs in the window, and recruiting through personal references and contacts. Businesses may recruit directly from their own company websites, or just through word-of-mouth. Those job openings or vacancies may never be posted on an online job board and included in HWOL data.

On the other hand, internet-based occupations are likely over-represented for online job postings compared with other occupations. Also, job openings requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher tend to be advertised online more than job openings requiring a high school diploma. In addition, some of the job openings captured in HWOL may also be unavailable in the county they are advertised in. They might actually be recruiting efforts for companies with job openings in other counties or states. While HWOL is a great source of actual job postings for local areas, you should not extrapolate this information and assume it is a statistical representation of the entire labor market or local economy.

Jackson County

With all of those cautionary landmines exposed, let’s take a gander at the top occupations with the most HWOL listings in Jackson County. Registered nurses were at the top of the list from November 2016 to November 2017, with 725 job postings. Other healthcare-related occupations with many listings include medical and health service managers, nursing and medical assistants, licensed practical and vocational nurses, medical secretaries and radiological technicians, and occupational and physical therapists. About one-fourth of the top 100 occupations with the most HWOL listings were related to health care and social assistance.

Retail salespersons and supervisors of retail sales workers had the second and third highest number of HWOL job postings, about 700 and 600, respectively, during those 12 months. Not too surprising that retail salesperson had many openings considering the large size of the occupation, typically lower wages and higher turnover in this job. Retail sales worker supervisors, customer service representatives, stock clerks and order fillers, and cashiers were other retail trade-related occupations with the most job postings.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had the fourth highest number of HWOL job listings from November 2016 to November 2017. Others on the top 100 list related to transportation sector include light truck or delivery services drivers, drivers/sales workers, and cleaners of vehicles and equipment. There were also just more than 50 job postings for supervisors of transportation, material moving, and vehicle operators in Jackson County.
Top Skills and Certifications Wanted in Jackson County

For all job postings, skills needed by local businesses are summarized in the HWOL data. The annual table (available upon request) contains an expansive list of the top 100 skills across the gamut of job postings. The top hard skills needed were operating tractor-trailer trucks; bilingual skills, in particular Spanish; operating pallet jacks; preventative maintenance; medical-surgical nursing; operating forklifts; mathematics; quality assurance; and food preparation.

Required certifications are also gleaned and tallied from online job postings. From November 2016 to November 2017 the certifications requested in the most ads were driver’s license; basic life support; certified registered nurse; commercial driver’s license; CPR; first aid; food safety; nursing administration certification; hazardous materials endorsement (HAZMAT); and continuing education.

Josephine County

During the 12 months ending November 2017, the top occupation with the most HWOL job postings in Josephine County was heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. Other driving/material moving occupations on the top 100 list included laborers and freight, stock and material movers; light truck or delivery service drivers; school and special client bus drivers; and drivers/sales workers.

Registered nurses had the second highest number of HWOL job postings during the same period. Many other health care and social assistance-related occupations populated Josephine County’s top 100 lists. More than one-quarter of the top 100 occupations with the most online job postings were related to health care sector, too many to list separately.

Supervisors of retail salespersons, cashiers, and retail salespersons were three of the top six occupations with the most HWOL job postings, with 255 total job listings during those 12 months. Stock clerks, merchandise displayers and window trimmers, were other retail trade-related occupations on the top list with the most job postings.
Top Skills and Certifications Wanted in Josephine County

The top skills listed across all HWOL job posting in Josephine County were: operating tractor-trailer trucks, pallet jacks, and hand trucks; crisis intervention techniques; bilingual skills; operating forklifts; quality assurance; food preparation; mathematics; and critical care. Top certifications requested in online job postings were driver’s license; commercial driver’s license; certified registered nurse; CPR certification; basic life support; practical nursing license; food safety programs; nursing administration certification; continuing education; and secret clearance. The other 90 top skills and certifications are available upon request.

While not a perfect source of data, Help Wanted Online job postings are very current and relevant local data about the available jobs listed on employment websites, Craigslist, and other sources of internet-based recruiting. Trends over time and information for other areas can be found at

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