A key economic indicator measuring the volume of job advertisements in major U.S. newspapers gained one point in September, The Conference Board reported today, but did little to suggest that a significant upturn is on the horizon.

The organization’s Help-Wanted Advertising Index rose from 23 in August to 24 last month, but was still down from its reading of 29 a year ago.

“The latest numbers on the job market suggest it was slower this summer than earlier this year, but not losing more steam heading into the fall and winter months,” Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “There are pockets of weakness around the country. Some areas have cooled off, but there is no sign that regional labor market problems are in the early stages of coalescing into a national downtrend. Simply put, the labor market is slow, but not slowing.”

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising slowed in eight of the nine U.S. regions, with the greatest declines occurring in the New England (-12 percent), East North Central (-10.8 percent), West North Central (-10.5 percent) and South Atlantic (-10.5 percent) regions.

The Conference Board surveys help-wanted print advertising volume in 51 major newspapers across the country every month, and because ad volume has proven to be sensitive to labor market conditions, this index provides a gauge of change in the local, regional and national supply of jobs.

According to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series, there were 4.27 million online advertised vacancies in September, which is an increase of 165,200, or 4 percent, from the August level. There were 2.78 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in September, up from 2.65 vacancies advertised in August.

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