A key indicator that measures job offerings in major U.S. newspapers rose four points in December and could signal a stronger labor market in the coming months, The Conference Board reported Thursday.

The Help-Wanted Advertising Index now stands at 33, up from a downwardly revised 29 in November, although it’s still below the 38 reading recorded a year ago. In the last three months, however, help-wanted advertising rose in seven of the nine U.S. regions, with the largest increases occurring in the East North Central (35.9 percent), West South Central (23 percent), New England (16.1 percent) and Middle Atlantic (10.5 percent) regions.

“Job advertising in print was up in December, reversing some of the decline earlier in the year. Change in online ad volume (on a year-over-year basis) was a little stronger in December than a month or two earlier,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board. “Also, the leading economic index rose in December, suggesting there could be a little more spark in business activity in 2007. Employers are expending a little more effort to attract job candidates, suggesting a stronger labor market in the next few months.”

The proportion of U.S. labor markets reporting a rise in help-wanted ad volume jumped to 74 percent last month, compared with 41 percent in November, while the unemployment rate held at 4.5 percent, The Conference Board reported.

In December there were 3.34 million online advertised vacancies, a rise of 17 percent from last December, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series.

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.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription