The Conference Board today reported that job growth could be relatively weak this summer based on recent nationwide declines in help-wanted advertising.

The Help-Wanted Advertising Index, a key measure of job offerings in major U.S. newspapers, fell one point in March to 30, down from 31 in February and well below the 37 reading a year ago.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in eight of the nine U.S. regions, according to The Conference Board, with the steepest declines occurring in the East South Central (-22.6 percent), South Atlantic (-17.5 percent) and East North Central (-17 percent) regions. The New England region, however, rose 3.2 percent.

“The forward indicators of labor market activity have been mixed in recent months. The economy has lost a little momentum and growth prospects remain somewhat questionable,” Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “But business confidence regained a little strength in the first quarter, suggesting that employers may be inclined to hire workers if their business growth does not fall. The relatively modest ad volume now could be a signal that job growth may be modest (not more than 130,000 per month) this summer.”

As for online job ads, postings on major job boards also dropped in March, falling 2 percent from February, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series. However, the March dip in advertised job vacancies was likely the result of fewer days in the February-March reference period.

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

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
We're here to help. Free 90-day trial for new subscribers.Click Here ×