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Help-Wanted Ads Declined in Feb.

March 25, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Help-wanted advertising in the nation’s major newspapers declined slightly in February, but demand for jobs still remains strong, according to a study released Thursday.

The Conference Board, a private business research group, said its monthly advertising index dipped to 93 last month, down from an adjusted 94 in January. The index, based on 100, was 92 in February 1998.

``There is no suggestion that demand for labor will slacken. Tight labor market conditions remain firmly in place,″ said Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein.

Goldstein predicted that consumer spending will remain strong, helping create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

The regions with the largest declines in help-wanted ads last month were the Middle Atlantic, which includes New York and Pennsylvania; Pacific, which includes California and Washington; and East South Central, which includes Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The biggest gainers were the East North Central; which includes Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin; and New England, which includes Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The seasonally adjusted advertising index, which stood at 100 in the base year of 1987, is derived from measuring the volume of employment ads in 51 major newspapers across the country each month. It is used as a non-governmental gauge of changes in local, regional and national job supply.

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