A key indicator that measures job offerings in major U.S. newspaper held steady for the second straight month in November, suggesting no big changes ahead for the labor market, The Conference Board reported Friday.
The Help-Wanted Advertising Index remained at 30 in November, unchanged from October, but was still much lower than the 38 reading recorded a year earlier.
“The labor market has little momentum going into the new year,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board. “The latest data shows that job advertising in print was unchanged in November. The rise in ad volume online also remains slow but relatively unchanged over the recent period. Job growth is considerably slower going into 2007 — now less than 125,000 new jobs a month. These forward indicators of labor activity suggest it might not get any stronger over the next few months.”
In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in five of the nine U.S. regions, with the steepest declines occurring in the South Atlantic (-13.9 percent), New England (-7.6 percent) and Mountain (-4.6 percent) regions.
Total online job ads declined by 119,800, or 3 percent, to 3,711,300 in November, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series, and there were 2.4 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in November.
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.