Help-Wanted Advertising Index Dips

September 28, 2007

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The Conference Board Help-Wanted Advertising Index – a measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America – declined two points in August, according to the Conference Board. The Index now stands at 23; it was 29 one year ago.

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In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in all nine US regions. The largest declines occurred in the New England (-25.4%), South Atlantic (-18.4%) and Middle Atlantic (-16.9%) regions, according to the data.

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“The slump in home buying and building, higher gas prices and grocery prices, and credit availability questions have combined to weaken the overall economy, drain consumer confidence, and slow the labor market,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board.

“Until August, the labor market held up surprisingly well. But the forward indicators of labor market activity are consistent with slow growth. August then may have been an off month with respect to job growth. The data suggest slow job growth ahead, but growth nonetheless. The labor market is not grinding to a halt.”

Online Advertised Job Vacancies Unchanged

In August, there were 4,104,800 online advertised job vacancies, an increase of 20,600 or 0.5% from the July level, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series.

There were 2.65 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in August.

About the Index: The Conference Board surveys help-wanted print advertising volume in 51 major newspapers across the country every month. Because ad volume has proven to be sensitive to labor market conditions, this measure provides a gauge of change in the local, regional and national supply of jobs.

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