The Conference Board on Thursday reported more slowing in help-wanted advertising during June as businesses remained cautious about the state of the economy.
The organization’s Help-Wanted Advertising index — a key measure of job offerings in major U.S. newspapers — fell one point in June to 26, and is well below the 32 reading a year ago. Since April, help-wanted advertising has dropped in all nine U.S. regions, with the largest declines occurring in the Pacific (-24.6 percent), East South Central (-16.4 percent) and Mountain (-15.4 percent) regions.
“Business caution about the near-term prospects for the economy, and perhaps for their own businesses, may lead to a little less hiring this autumn,” Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “Already, there are signs that job advertising volume is edging a little lower — with very slight decreases in each of the past two months.”
Goldstein added that online job ads also “showed a little loss in momentum in recent months,” as postings in June fell 2 percent from May to 4.28 million, according to the organization’s Help-Wanted Online Data Series. There were reportedly just 2.8 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force last month.
The JOLTS data (Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey) from the U.S. Department of Labor has shown “very little change through May,” Goldstein said, which suggests that labor market sluggishness will continue in the near term.
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.