The Conference Board help-wanted advertising index, a key measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America, inched up one point in September. The index now stands at 39, up from 38 last month.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in six of the nine U.S. regions. The most dramatic increase, however, occurred in the East South Central region (56.6 percent), which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. Increases also occurred in the Mountain (4.4 percent) and West South Central (2.1 percent) regions.

“The print ad volume data for the East and West South Central regions show a marked upturn in September. The dislocations caused by the storms and flooding prompted some ad volume that presumably would not otherwise take place,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board. “Some of the dislocations could be for extended periods, if not permanent. Ad volume increases in markets like Houston or Memphis are probably a reflection of both near-term and longer-term impacts — which would explain the big increases suddenly in September after much more modest changes in the last two years.”

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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