New online job ads across the United States dropped to 2.46 million in September, as the Pacific region overtook New England in per capita supply, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series, released today.

Last month’s supply of online job ads decreased by 115,089, or 5 percent, from the previous month. In September, there were 1.62 online job ads per 100 persons in the U.S. labor force, compared with 1.71 in August 2006 and 1.55 in July.

“August tends to be a peak month for job ads, and September’s modest decline is well in line with the seasonal downward trend we would expect,” said Gad Levanon, economist at The Conference Board. “The good news is that the September number is not signaling any significant weakening in the labor market.”

New online job ads postings decreased in all nine Census regions in September compared to the August level. The largest declines for the month were in the East South Central region (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee) and the New England region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), down 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively. The remaining seven Census regions each declined between 3 percent and 6 percent.

After eight consecutive months with the highest number of new jobs per 100 persons, the New England region surrendered its lead to the Pacific region, which had 2.53 new online jobs per 100 persons in the labor force. The East South Central region, however, continues to have the lowest (0.94) activity.

Adjusting job ads for the size of the local labor force, San Diego continues to lead the nation, although it dipped below 4 ads per 100 persons in the labor force (3.96). Other metropolitan areas with a large number of ads per 100 persons in the labor force were concentrated on the East and West coasts and include San Francisco (3.9), San Jose (3.84), Seattle-Tacoma (3.68) and Boston (3.53). In September, the Detroit metropolitan area with less than one online job ad per 100 persons in the labor force (0.81) reported the lowest number of ads adjusted for the labor force.

Comparing September 2006 to September 2005, the number of new job ads was up in all Census regions except East South Central (down 1 percent). The largest gains were concentrated in the West and Southwestern parts of the country with the Pacific region up 30 percent and West South Central up 44 percent.

Other areas with substantial year-over-year gains in online job ads were the Mountain and West North Central regions (27 percent and 20 percent, respectively). More modest year-over-year increases were posted in the East North Central region (Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin), up 10 percent, and the Middle Atlantic region (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), up 11 percent.

The Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series measures the number of new, first-time online jobs posted on more than 1,200 major Internet job boards and smaller job boards that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.

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