Online advertised vacancies fell by a seasonally adjusted 216,000 to 4,418,000 in September, with widespread losses across states and regions, according to the Conference Board’s help-wanted online data aeries released yesterday. The September losses continued a downward trend that started in May 2007, the effects of which can be seen in the unemployment and employment trends.

“All in all, indications are that employment will deteriorate even more rapidly in the near term,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at the Conference Board. “The current HWOL data indicates that labor demand was down in September even before the tumultuous events in the financial sector during the end of the month.”

There is a close correlation between employers’ labor demand and unemployment. “As demand drops, unemployment will rise as it becomes more difficult for the unemployed to find jobs,” Levanon noted. Since May 2007, the gap between the unemployed and advertised jobs has significantly widened and now stands at almost five million or over two unemployed workers for each advertised opening.

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