Print Help-Wanted Advertising Index Dips to 49-Year Low

August 1, 2007

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The Conference Board Help-Wanted Advertising Index – a key measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America – dipped one point in June and now stands at 26. It was 32 one year ago.

“According to a Reuters report, June’s index marked a 49-year low for newspaper print classified volume,” writes Editor & Publisher.

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In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in all nine US regions, with the largest declines occurring in the Pacific (-24.6%), East South Central (-16.4%) and Mountain (-15.4%) regions, The Conference Board reported.

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Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board, said: “Business caution about the near-term prospects for the economy, and perhaps for their own businesses, may lead to a little less hiring this autumn. Already, there are signs that job advertising volume is edging a little lower – with very slight decreases in each of the past two months.”

“Other forward indicators of labor market activity are not much stronger than the measure based on print advertising. Online volume showed a little loss in momentum in recent months. Initial unemployment claims also have turned more flat. Finally, the JOLTS data (Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey) showed very little change through May.”

Total online job ads were 4,280,400 in June, a slight drop of 94,000 or 2 percent from May, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series. There were 2.8 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in June.

About The Help-Wanted Advertising 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, according to The Conference Board.

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