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Economy in Brief

Help-Wanted Advertising Down Again
by Tom Moeller October 28, 2004

The National Index of Help-Wanted Advertising published by the Conference Board fell to 36 in September, the lowest level since May of last year.

The proportion of labor markets with rising want-ad volume plunged to 25%, half the prior month's level and the lowest since March.

During the last ten years there has been an 89% correlation between the level of help-wanted advertising and the year-to-year change in non-farm payrolls.

Recent weakness in help wanted indicates that most, if not all, of the improvement in non-farm payroll growth has been due to fewer job losses, not improved hiring and explains why the recent three month growth in payrolls of 0.9% is well below the growth which characterized other US economic recovery periods.

The Conference Board surveys help-wanted advertising volume in 51 major newspapers across the country every month.

Conference Board Sept Aug Sept '03
National Help Wanted Index 36 37 37
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