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Job growth may slow further this summer

Print want ads suffer in South, West

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The Conference Board on Thursday reported a slowdown in help-wanted advertising for the month of May, and recent labor market indicators suggest even more sluggishness this summer. The organization's Help-Wanted Advertising index -- a key measure of job offerings in major U.S. newspapers -- fell two points in May to 27, and is well below the 33 reading a year ago. "The labor market is slow and might even slow a little further this summer," Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board, said in a statement. "While the Leading Economic Indicators are pointing to sustained but slow growth in business activity, the latest readings on want-ad volume suggest that job gains (hovering close to about 120,000 per month) could edge a little lower, perhaps opening up only 100,000 new jobs a month." In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in six of the nine U.S. regions, with the largest declines occurring in the East South Central (-41.1 percent), Pacific (-22.7 percent...