The volume of help-wanted advertising in major
U.S. newspapers rose in January, the Conference Board said in a
report Thursday that said chances are good that the unemployment
rate would dip below 4 percent this spring.
The business-financed research organization said its Help-Wanted
Advertising Index rose to 89 in January from 86 in November. It was
92 in January 1999.
The index is used as a gauge of changes in job supply. It is
watched by economists as an indicator of labor market conditions to
help form estimates of unemployment rates.
"Employers are not cutting back on recruitment efforts,
especially print ads. Employment searches on the Internet are also
continuing at strong levels, although much of this activity is
still difficult to measure accurately," said Ken Goldstein, an
economist for the Conference Board.
The relationship among job advertising, the layoff rate and
employment suggests the unemployment rate will soon fall below 4
percent, he said. The unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in January,
the lowest rate since the 3.9 percent recorded in January 1970.
The report Thursday said that from November through January,
help-wanted advertising rose in all parts of the country except the
East South Central region, which includes Birmingham, Ala.;
Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee; and Louisville, Ky.,
where it fell 4.9 percent.
The greatest increase was in the Pacific region, including Los
Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Bernardino in
California; and Seattle, up 7.8 percent.
increases were recorded in the South Atlantic region, up 7.7
percent and including Atlanta; Baltimore; Charlotte, N.C.; Miami
and Jacksonville in Florida; Richmond, Va.; and Washington, D.C.;
and the East North Central region, up 5.5 percent and including
Chicago; Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Dayton in
Ohio; Detroit; Indianapolis and Gary in Indiana; and Milwaukee.