Industry News

Help-Wanted advertising grows

Economists eye strength of Mountain, East South Central states

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The Conference Board's Help-Wanted Advertising Index – a key barometer of America's job market – increased one point in February to 40, up from 39 the previous month. The index was 41 one year ago. In the last three months, help-wanted advertising increased in eight of the nine U.S. regions. The largest increases occurred in the Mountain (13.8 percent), New England (12.8 percent) and East South Central (9.6 percent) regions. "The national labor market has begun to improve, but the small gains only bring us back to year-ago levels," said Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein. "Consumers have grown more concerned about why continued increases in industrial production and GDP have generated only meager job increases. The positive news here is that the incremental improvement in want-ad volume comes at the same time that layoffs, as measured by initial unemployment claims, have been edging lower. "A national recovery in the labor market means that more than half of the ...