The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Advertising Index, a key barometer of America’s job market, dipped one point in November. The Index now stands at 36, down from 38 one year ago.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in six of the nine regions across the United States. Largest declines occurred in the East North Central (-7.5 percent) and Mountain (-7.2 percent) regions. Help-wanted advertising increased in the Pacific (3.4 percent), East South Central (1.2 percent) and Middle Atlantic (0.8 percent) regions.

“Job growth continues to be sluggish, despite periodic reports that some companies are planning to add workers in the months ahead,” said Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein, a specialist in the labor markets. “This is reflected in the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, which has declined in five of the last six months, and by dips in consumer confidence. The widely awaited turnaround in job growth has yet to arrive.”

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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