The number of help-wanted ads in U.S. newspapers fell in March as employers pared hiring plans due to recession fears, a private research group said Thursday.
The Conference Board said its gauge measuring help-wanted ad volume slipped to 19 from 21 in February. The index was 29 a year earlier.
"The labor market is likely to get worse before it gets better. This is precisely the fear driving consumer and business expectations down to levels only seen during recessions," said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at the Conference Board, in a statement.
Help-wanted ads have fallen in all nine U.S. regions tracked in the last three months, with the steepest drop in the East North Central region, where ads tumbled 20.3 percent.
The research firm surveys help-wanted ad volume in 51 newspapers across the United States each month.