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Economy in Brief

Help-Wanted Advertising Remained Depressed
by Tom Moeller September 30, 2004

The National Index of Help-Wanted Advertising published by the Conference Board remained at 37 in August after the decline in July to the lowest level of the year.

During the last ten years there has been a 91% correlation between the level of help-wanted advertising and the year-to-year change in non-farm payrolls. The stall in help wanted indicates that most, if not all, of the y/y improvement in non-farm payroll growth has been due to fewer job losses, not improved hiring.

The proportion of labor markets with rising want-ad volume rose to 49% from a depressed 41% in July.

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

"Why Did the Average Duration of Unemployment Become So Much Longer?" from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

Conference Board Aug July Aug '03
National Help Wanted Index 37 37 37
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