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Help Wanted Index (United States)

Help Wanted Index (United States)

Help-wanted advertising is an indicator of trends in the job market. If the employment situation is expected to stay strong, the jobless rate will likely decline and wage growth will accelerate. Higher wages could spark inflationary pressures.

The Conference Board surveys help-wanted advertising in 51 major newspapers across the nation. The data is released at the end of the month for the prior month. Since inception, the index has sampled the same 51 newspapers. The Conference Board then constructs an index based on the volume of advertising. Separate indices are created for the nation, the nine census divisions and the 51 metro areas in which the newspapers are published. The year 1987 is the base year, with a value of 100. The index is seasonally adjusted.

If the moving average of the index for several months shows a change in trend, a change in employment growth is likely to occur. It also gives limited indication of differing economic conditions across regions and metro areas, with the volume of help-wanted advertising relative to conditions in 1987.