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December 20, 2005
Online Job Ads Decline Entering Holiday Season

The number of new online job ads declined by 184,700 in November to 1,819,200, dipping below 2 million for the first time since July, according to the Conference Board.

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The November data are the sum of the number of unduplicated new first-time online job ads posted each day of the month. This figure is down 9.2 percent from October. The November decline, which reflects in part the effect of the Thanksgiving holiday, follows a dip of 1.7 percent in October.

In November there were 1.21 online job ads per 100 persons in the U.S. labor force, compared with 1.34 in October, 1.36 in September, and 1.43 per 100 persons in August.

"Historically, job advertising drops off in the months of November and December," says Ken Goldstein, labor economist at the Conference Board. "This online series does not have a long enough history to seasonally adjust the data. However, we know from The Conference Board's long running Help-Wanted Index for print ads, as well as the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics' job vacancy index (JOLTS) that businesses typically decrease their recruitment in the last two months of the year."

Meanwhile, first-time online job ads in the New Orleans area increased 42 percent in November, reflecting the demand for labor in the area that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in the late summer. The two industries posting the largest volume of new ads were hospitals and ambulatory healthcare services, followed by specialty trade contractors.

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