All about Jobs, 3: Phantom Job Openings: Evidence from HWOL

We suspect that these are phantom job openings, a kind of tire-kicker index in which employers are hoping to land a really big fish, but not using very good bait.

Looking at the Conference Board’s help wanted online (HWOL) series underscores the possibility that employers may not be that serious about these openings.

Both versions of the HWOL series, new, unduplicated listings and total listings—have been trending downward for three years, while the openings rate has been working its way higher. If employers want to fill these jobs, why aren’t they advertising them? We first asked this question in October 2016 and last asked it in May, and the trends have only di-verged further with each asking.

Anything else? Yes! All about Jobs, 4: Should the quit rate be higher?