The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Advertising Index – a key barometer of America’s job market – dipped one point in June to 38. The index was 38 one year ago.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in five of the nine U.S. regions. Declines occurred in the Pacific (-8.9 percent), East North Central (-7.6 percent), East South Central (-7.5 percent), West North Central (-2.2 percent) and West South Central (-0.1 percent) regions. Increases occurred in the South Atlantic (5.5 percent), New England (4.1 percent), Mountain (4 percent) and Middle Atlantic (0.7 percent) regions.

“Help-wanted advertising volume was on a slow upward trend through February but has now been virtually flat over a four-month period,” said Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein. “Likewise, initial unemployment claims reached a plateau in March and haven’t moved very much since then. Labor demand will hold up if the economy does. The Coincident Economic Indicator (a measure of where the economy is right now) continued on a rising trend through June, suggesting the economy was maintaining a forward pace. And consumers seem to believe the economy and the labor market will continue to improve, as indicated in the Consumer Confidence Survey through July.”

The Conference Board surveys help-wanted advertising volume in 51 major newspapers across the country every month. Because ad volume has proven to be sensitive to labor market conditions, this measure provides a gauge of change in the local, regional and national supply of jobs.

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