DEFINITION of 'Help-Wanted Index - HWI'

The U.S. job market index, published monthly by the Conference Board that monitors the number of help wanted advertisements in major newspapers across the country. The help wanted index, is an indicator of strength or weakness in the national labor markets, by providing information on how many positions need to be filled.

BREAKING DOWN 'Help-Wanted Index - HWI'

In addition to providing labor market information, this index can be used as a predictor of the investment markets as well. When the help wanted index is rising, it means there is a relatively large amount of positions needing to be filled. This can be interpreted as a shortage of workers. Because employers may have to raise wages to attract workers, wage inflation could ensue. Wage inflation will have a negative effect on bond and equity markets.

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