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The number of U.S. jobs posted online fell 0.6% year-over-year in March, according to The Conference Board's online help-wanted advertising survey. It was the first decline, ever, since the index began in May 2005. The index was also down month-over-month. There were 3.7 million online job ads in March, down 4.9% from 3.9 million in February.
"The softening in advertised vacancies evident over the last few months spread to more states in March and, for the first time, annual growth turned negative for the nation as a whole," said Gad Levanon, economist at The Conference Board. "It would not be surprising to see a third straight month of job losses when employment data are released later this week as well as continued weakness in the month ahead."