The Conference Board’s help-wanted advertising index, a key measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America, inched up to 38 in June. It was 37 in May.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in seven of the nine U.S. regions. Steepest declines occurred in the Mountain (-13.1 percent) and East South Central (-7.5 percent) regions.

“The labor market indicators turned soft in April and remained soft through June. Print want-ad volume was flat in April, edged lower in May, then recovered some of that lost ground in June,” said Ken Goldstein, The Conference Board’s Labor Economist. “The data on initial unemployment claims point neither up nor down, even through the early weeks of July. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data (Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey) show the same lack of trend: job openings were essentially unchanged through May. These indications all point in the same direction: Hiring intentions have turned more cautious as the economy is poised to lose some steam in the second half of 2005.”

Online want-ad volume also does not appear to show a dramatically different pattern. The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series – which made its debut this month – was flat. There were just over 2 million first-time, online job postings appearing on major Internet job boards in June. This figure is essentially unchanged from May and up from 1.8 million new job ads posted online in April.

The Conference Board surveys help-wanted print 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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