Help Wanted Ads Drop in October

November 27, 2002 ( - Fewer hiring managers sought job candidates via a newspaper ad in October than the month before, according to a closely watched economic indicator.

The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Advertising Index, which measures help-wanted ad volume in 51 major US papers, dropped to 40 in October from 43 in September. It stood at 46 a year ago.

Help-wanted advertising declined in the last three months in all nine regions of the US, according to the Conference Board.

Steepest declines occurred in the New England (-20.0%), Middle Atlantic (-18.0%), Mountain (-14.5%) and West North Central (-11.9%) regions.

“The recent softening in the labor market reflects a weakening economic recovery. The Board’s Leading Economic Indicators began to signal an economic slowdown as early as June. The labor markets won’t improve until economic growth picks up,” said Conference Board Economist Ken Goldstein.