Help-Wanted Advertising Slides

June 27, 2002 ( - May job vacancy advertising, as measured by the Conference Board's Help-Wanted Index fell by 4% over the month as disappointing corporate profits put the squeeze on hiring.

May’s data show the index dipping by two points, from 47 in April to 45 in May as companies cut back on their payrolls. This compares to a reading of 60 in May 2001.

Regional Losses

According to the Conference Board, in the last three months, help-wanted advertising has fallen in all nine US regions, with the heaviest losses occurring in:

  • the South Atlantic region, which is down -9.4%
  • Mountain region, where help-wanted advertising has fallen by -8.3%
  • Pacific region, where it is down by -7.8%
  • West South Central region, down -7.7%.

The Conference Board data further showed that some 27% of the labor market has rising help-wanted advertising, significantly lower than the 41% recorded a month ago.

The unemployment rate currently stands at 5.8%.

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.