Online advertised vacancies were up 125,600 in December to 5,297,100, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series released today. The November Supply/Demand rate stands at 2.1 unemployed for each vacancy with a total of 5.7 million more unemployed workers than the number of advertised vacancies.

“In 2013, labor demand in the first half of the year was flat but was more upbeat in the last 6 months with gains in a number of occupations,” said June Shelp, Vice President of The Conference Board.  In the June-December time frame advertised vacancies for workers in the professional category gained 117,000 after declining 50,000 in the first half.  Advertised vacancies for workers in the service jobs gained 234,000 in the last half of the year following a gain of only 27,000 in the first half.  “These gains have helped whittle the unemployment number as more and more workers found employment,” said Shelp.  The overall demand for labor has hovered around 5,000,000 per month in 2013.  The largest numerical gains in the last half of the year in the services/production group were for sales workers (+126,400) and transportation workers (+48,300); however, production workers (+8,000) and construction workers (-10,500) showed disappointing results.  In the professional category, the largest gains were for managers (+49,100) and healthcare professionals (+36,600).

(The January 2013 Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® (HWOL) Data Series will be released at 10:00 am ET on February 5th, 2014).