Increase in Job Ads Does Not Signal Turnaround

NEW YORK—Last month, there was an increase in online ads for job vacancies, according to the recently released Conference Board “Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series.”

In August 2008, there were 4,833,700 online-advertised job vacancies, which is an increase of 314,300 from July. However, the Conference Board says the increase offsets July’s losses and leaves the overall level of job demand largely unchanged from June’s level.

“Looking at the new seasonally adjusted national series (which will be officially released with the September 2008 data), job demand in 2008, while somewhat volatile, has remained essentially unchanged,” according to the Conference Board.

“We have seen no real improvement in labor demand throughout 2008, and there is little or no indication in the data that there will be a turnaround in employment for the rest of this year,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at the Conference Board. “However, the August seasonal rebound is some positive news that American business is still looking for workers.”

In August, 3,014,600 of the 4,833,700 unduplicated online advertised vacancies were new ads that did not appear in July, while the rest were reposted ads from the previous month. In August, the number of total online advertised vacancies rose by 314,300 (7%) from July and new ads increased by 105,300 (4%). Compared with August 2007 levels, total ads rose by 4%, while new ads were down slightly by 0.9% from last year.

The Conference Board’s “Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series” measures the number of new, first-time online jobs and jobs reposted from the previous month on more than 1,200 Internet job boards. For more information, visit www.conference-board.org.

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