Help-Wanted Index Dips Two Points
In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in all nine U.S. regions. Steepest declines occurred in the East North Central (-24.1%), Pacific (-20.6%) and South Atlantic (-19.3%) regions.
Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein says that although demand for labor is down from last year's pace, it leveled off in April. “Latest readings suggest modest job growth during the summer months, with bright spots appearing," he says. "The last time layoffs were as steep as they are now, the unemployment rate was 7.4% (1991) -- much higher than the current 4.5%. It is unlikely that the jobless rate will climb to 5% by year-end, given the stimulative impact of the sharp drop in interest rates, and upcoming tax cuts.”
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.