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The Conference Board's index measuring jobs ads in U.S. newspapers fell in February and now stands at 21 - down nine points from February 2007.
"More regions of the country are experiencing economic distress and the impact is now evident in the labor markets - the result of constant, unrelenting pressure from multiple sources," said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board. Conditions aren't likely to improve by even late summer and, possibly, not until the end of the year, Goldstein said.
Help-wanted advertising in newspapers fell in seven of the nine U.S. regions in the past three months. The steepest decline was in the East South Central, down 12.5%.