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February 28, 2003
Help-Wanted Advertisement Volume Edges Up
Employers purchased slightly more help-wanted ads with America's major newspapers in January, according to the Conference Board.

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The Conference Board's Help-Wanted Advertising Index - a barometer of America's job market - edged up one point in January. The index now stands at 40, up from 39 in December. It was 47 one year ago.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising increased in five out of nine of the U.S. regions. Largest increases occurred in the Mountain (20.1 percent), South Atlantic (12.0 percent) and New England (8.7 percent) regions. Steepest declines occurred in the Middle Atlantic (-9.3 percent), East North Central (-5.0 percent) and West South Central (-4.1 percent) regions.

"The fact that job advertising was no higher in January 2003 than in October 2002 shows how flat the labor market has been," says Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein: "Hiring intentions are not expected to turn more bullish as long as the overall economy remains stuck in neutral."

The Conference Board surveys help-wanted 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.

Latest seasonally-adjusted results follow:

Jan. 03
Dec. 02
Nov. 02
Jan. 02
National Index
Proportion of Labor Markets
With rising Want-ad Volume
Unemployment Rate




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