Help-Wanted Index Dipped 1 Point; Jobless Claims Dropped 6,000

The Conference Board Help-Wanted Advertising Index -- a key measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America -- dipped one point in August. The Index now stands at 31. It was 37 one year ago. The Conference Board surveys help-wanted print advertising volume in 51 major newspapers across the country every month.

In the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in eight of the nine U.S. regions. Steepest declines occurred in the West North Central (-17.5%), Middle Atlantic (-17.3%), Mountain (-9.2%) and West South Central (-9.2%) regions.

New online job ads increased to 2,574,280 according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series. The August level was 239,905, or 10 percent above the previous month and followed a modest decline in July. In August, there were 1.71 online job ads per 100 persons in the U.S. labor force, compared with 1.55 in July and 1.63 in June.

Jobless Claims:

In the week ending Sept. 23, jobless initial claims decreased 6,000 to 316,000, from the previous week's revised figure of 322,000, according to the Labor Dept.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9 percent for the week ending Sept. 16, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate of 1.9 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Sept. 16 was 2,444,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,452,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,466,750, a decrease of 8,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,475,000.

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