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June 30, 2003
Volume of Help-Wanted Ads Stays Low
Help-wanted advertising volume was flat in May, according to the Conference Board's Help-Wanted Advertising Index - a barometer of America's job market. The index now stands at 36. It was 44 one year ago.

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In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in eight of the nine U.S. regions. Steepest declines occurred in the Middle Atlantic (-21.0 percent), West North Central (-14.5 percent) and East North Central (-14.4 percent) regions.

"Consumer spending remains the mainstay of this weak economic recovery, says Ken Goldstein, an economist with the Conference Board. "With tax cuts enacted, the consumer is likely to continue hanging in there. Investment remains the missing ingredient. On the supply side, manufacturing remains stuck in a downturn for the third straight summer. Nor is there any sign of recovery in services (excluding health and education). But a real recovery, including a slowdown in layoffs and the opening of new jobs, is far more dependent on recovery in investment than on stronger consumption growth."

The Conference Board surveys help-wanted advertising volume in 51 major newspapers across the country every month.

Latest seasonally adjusted results:

May 03
April 03
March 03
May 02
National Index
Proportion of Labor Markets With rising Want-ad Volume
Jobless Rate

* Revised


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