Help-Wanted Ad Index Edges Up

The Conference Board's Help-Wanted Advertising Index was 78 in September, up one point from August. It was 83 one year ago.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in eight U.S. regions and rose in one. Steepest declines took place in the Mountain (-9.8%), New England (-8.4%) and East North Central (-4.9%) regions. Help-wanted advertising increased in the East South Central (3.9%) region.

"Some slowing in hiring demand, along with a modest increase in layoffs, is cooling off labor market activity this autumn and winter," says Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein.

"New service sector jobs are growing at a slightly slower pace, while manufacturing is going through another round of downsizing. Employers simply haven't been able to fill jobs."

The Conference Board surveys help-wanted 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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