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December 29, 2003
Uptick in Volume of Help-Wanted Ads

The volume of help-wanted advertising in the nation's newspapers increased in November, according to the Conference Board's Help-Wanted Advertising Index. The index increased to 39 in November, up from 37 the previous month. The index was 40 a year ago.

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In the last three months, help-wanted advertising rose in seven of the nine U.S. regions. Strongest increases occurred in the New England (15.6 percent), East North Central (12.0 percent) and West South Central (8.1 percent) regions. Declines occurred in the Mountain (-6.6 percent) and South Atlantic (-1.8 percent) regions.

"The labor market is finally sparking to life," says Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein. "Initial unemployment claims are down. In fact, they've been trending lower in the last two months. Finally, in November, the volume of help-wanted ads showed an increase of two points. This is the first rise of even this small amount since June."

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

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