The Conference Board Help-Wanted Advertising Index, a key measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America, gained one point in November to 39, up from 38 in October.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising increased in six of the nine U.S. regions. Largest increases occurred in the Mountain (7.3 percent), East South Central (5.8 percent) and Middle Atlantic (5.3 percent) regions. Declines occurred in the Pacific (-4.7 percent), West South Central (-4.4 percent) and South Atlantic (-3.3 percent) regions.

“The labor market indicators reflect a loss of economic momentum, even eliminating the impact of the storms and flooding. Job advertising volume in newspapers was only slightly higher in November than in August,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board.

“Online job ads have actually slowed in recent months. Consumer sentiment showed some recovery in November, but much less improvement in the outlook for the next six months. All of these data suggest the post-holiday labor market will remain relatively soft — probably delivering a little less than 200,000 new jobs a month on average. That would be consistent with the mixed signals coming from The Conference Board Leading Economic Indicators. The one positive note in all this is that when the post-storm recovery (in terms of rebuilding) kicks into high gear, it will lift the labor market as well.”

Online want-ad volume dipped in November, The Conference Board reported. The number of new online job ads declined by 184,700 in November to 1.82 million, dipping below 2 million for the first time since July, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series. This figure is down 9.2 percent from October. The November decline, which reflects in part the effect of the Thanksgiving holiday, follows a dip of 1.7 percent in October.

In November there were 1.21 online job ads per 100 persons in the U.S. labor force, compared with 1.34 in October, 1.36 in September and 1.43 per 100 persons in August.

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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