Help-Wanted Index

Release Date: Usually released on the last Thursday of every month
Release Time: Usually at 10.30am Eastern US time
Released By: The Conference Board

The Help-Wanted Index is a labor market indicator which tracks the total number of Help-Wanted Ads and the Number of New Ads that are placed online.

The index works by tracking help-wanted ads placed for job recruitments across several sectors such as transportation, healthcare support, the food industry, construction, etc and also checks the labor supply-demand situation across all 50 states of the United States.

Time of Release

The Conference Board releases the ‘Help-wanted’ Index on the last Thursday of every month. Information about this news release can be obtained from Conference Board. The news release time is 10.30am Eastern US time.

Interpreting the Data

The Help-Wanted Index is not usually published on the forex news calendar and is therefore not directly tradable. Rather, it can be used as a predictor of other labor data such as the Non-Farm Payrolls report, the US Jobless Claims report and the GDP. These three data are high market impact news releases.

The Help-Wanted Index is primarily an indicator used to measure the prospects of getting a job in the near term. For traders, it tells the picture of demand for labor. It helps the trader make better sense of the non-farm payroll data, since there is a strong correlation between the number of help-wanted ads and the total non-farm payrolls. A rise in payrolls is consistent with a rise in “help wanted” ads issued by employers, and vice versa. Stagnation in “help-wanted” ad numbers is an early indication of a peak in the employment cycle. This is a very real “fly in the ointment” of those expecting a resurgence of economic activity in the months ahead.


The Help Wanted index and the Jobless Claims report are also inversely correlated. When the Help Wanted Index is rising, there will be a drop in unemployment claims. When there are lesser claims of unemployment, there is a likelihood that the GDP of a country will grow through increases production of goods and services.