The Conference Board help-wanted advertising index, a key measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America, remained at 38 in October, the same as in the previous month.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in eight of the nine U.S. regions. Steepest declines occurred in the Mountain (-15.7 percent), West North Central (-11 percent) and East North Central (-9.2 percent) regions. Help-wanted advertising increased in the West South Central (2.4 percent) region.

“The post-holiday labor market will likely remain weak. This is consistent with the slowing trend in The Conference Board Leading Economic Indicators,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board. “Hurricanes, flooding and energy prices have all held back growth. But outweighing these concerns is lingering consumer worries about prices starting to rise faster than wages. With slower hiring, and indications that hiring might remain soft in the months ahead, the economy could struggle, setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

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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