For the first time this decade, the number of jobs posted online fell by 0.6 percent last year to about 3.7 million, reflecting a broad slowdown in the labor market, the Conference Board reported this week.

The declines were spread across the country, with the lowest online job demand reported in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Mississippi, the New York-based private research group said.

"It would not be surprising to see a third straight month of job losses when employment data are released later this week, as well as continued weakness in the months ahead," Gad Levanon, an economist with the Conference Board, said in a statement.

Weaker demand in the labor market is pushing consumer confidence to its lowest level in five years, he added.