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Online job vacancies increase

NEW YORK — Online advertised job vacancies in the U.S. rose by 255,000 to 3.642 million in December, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series (HWOL).

Nationally, growth in job demand has been mildly positive since the low point in April 2009, with an average monthly increase of less than 60,000. The 2009 annual average stands at 3.357 million — 1.1 million below the annual average for 2008 and 1.3 million below the average for 2007.

“Employers’ modest increase in demand for labor in the second half of 2009 is a nice way to end what has been a very challenging year,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. “The gap between the number of unemployed and the number of advertised vacancies is still very high, but the recent six months indicate that things are slowly moving in the right direction. The gap between the number of unemployed and the number of advertised vacancies is about 12 million, with 4.5 unemployed for every online advertised vacancy.”

In the South, December online advertised vacancies rose by 120,400, reflecting increases in all of the most populous Southern states.

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