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.
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.