The Conference Board today reported that its Help-Wanted Advertising index – a key barometer of America's job market – dipped one point in September to 36. In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in eight of the nine U.S. regions. Steepest declines occurred in the South Atlantic (-13 percent), New England (-10.8 percent), and West North Central (-9.9 percent) regions. "The labor market remains flat and has clearly started to weigh negatively on consumer confidence. Want-ad volume was basically flat all spring and summer," said Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein. "Perhaps some of the 1-point drop in September can be associated with the repeated hurricane strikes in the South. But the bigger issue has been weakness in the Midwest all year, now joined ...
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