Sep 4, 2008: Monster Employment Index Edges Up in August
During August, online job availability rose in 14 of the Index's 20 industry categories and in 13 of the 23 occupational categories measured. However, on a year-over-year basis, the Index remained down 14 percent from a year ago. Index results for the past 13 months are as follows:Aug. Jul. Jun. May Apr. Mar. Feb. Jan. Dec. Nov. Oct. Sept. Aug. 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 08 07 07 07 07 07 159 157 163 166 174 167 165 160 169 183 188 186 186
"Employers are now stepping up their online recruitment efforts in preparation for the fall hiring season but activity in the job market remains muted compared to a year ago," said Jesse Harriott, Vice President of Research at Monster Worldwide. "On the upside, the Index's overall annual growth rate remained steady, suggesting no major change in underlying nationwide demand for labor compared to July."
Utilities Industry Registers Largest Monthly Gain in Online Job Demand in August
Online job demand in the utilities industry registered the highest rate of increase in August, recovering slightly from a two-month slide. Meanwhile, the finance and insurance; and accommodation and food services industries, two sectors heavily impacted by economic downturn, each showed a slight increase in online recruitment activity during the month.
In contrast, online demand in the professional, scientific and technical services industry edged lower on the month, extending a trend of cooling demand that followed intense springtime hiring activity. Meanwhile, the smaller agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry saw the most dramatic decline on the month.
On a year-over-year basis, the generally non-cyclical public administration and agriculture industries showed the highest annual growth rate and remain at the top of the list. Despite tumbling commodities prices in energy, growth in the mining industry has accelerated, reflecting sustained high demand for skilled workers in oil, gas and metals. Meanwhile, information; and professional, scientific and technical services saw the sharpest decelerations in annual growth among industries between July and August.
Education, Training and Library Occupations See Sharply Higher Online Job Availability in August
Among occupations, education, training and library registered the largest monthly increase in online opportunities in August, suggesting that the sector is facing unique staffing needs in advance of the start of the school year. Both the healthcare support and healthcare practitioners and technical occupational categories also showed growth in August. Opportunities for office and administrative support workers also expanded, enabling the category to regain some traction following an extended cooling trend that dates back to early spring.
In contrast, farming, fishing and forestry registered the sharpest decline on the month, followed by personal care and service; and protective service. Management; and installation, maintenance and repair were the only other two occupational categories that registered fewer opportunities in August compared to the previous month.
On a year-over-year basis, four occupational categories are showing greater online demand compared to a year ago. For the fourth consecutive month, farming, fishing, and forestry is the Index's top occupational category in terms of annual growth, followed by healthcare practitioners and technical and military specific occupations. Meanwhile, management lost momentum in August, slipping into negative year-over-year growth after significantly elevated activity through the spring and early summer months.
Online Job Availability Increases in Seven of Nine U.S. Census Bureau Regions in August
Online job demand rose in seven of the nine U.S. Census Bureau regions in August, with West North Central registering the largest increase on the month. The area's rebound from a large decline in July suggests businesses are generally back to normal, following disruptions generally attributed to the devastating floods that hit the region in June. Meanwhile, East South Central was the only region to show a decline in online demand in August, while the Pacific region remained flat.
Year-over-year, all nine regions are down compared to a year ago, with West South Central showing the smallest contraction. Meanwhile, the annual growth rates for the New England and Mountain regions improved slightly, however both remain in negative territory.
At the state level, online job demand increased in 40 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia between July and August.
Eight of the Top 28 Major U.S. Metro Markets Register Gains in August
During August, online recruitment activity increased in eight of the 28 U.S. metro areas monitored by the Index, with Boston registering the sharpest gain. Online job availability in San Diego, which is among the weaker trending markets this year, also jumped amid rising demand for education and healthcare occupations. At the same time, Seattle remained flat in August, resulting from a balance between weaker demand for blue-collar opportunities and strong demand for white-collar opportunities.
On an annual basis, Pittsburgh is once again the only metro market showing greater online job availability compared to a year ago and remains the Index's top growth market year-over-year, driven by higher demand for construction, transportation and production occupations. Despite a slight gain in August, Houston continued to lose momentum from a long term perspective, and similar trends in neighboring Dallas suggests cooling in the once-hot Texas economy. Portland demonstrated the most dramatic change in annual growth rate between July and August as demand turned lower for a majority of white-collar occupational categories.
To obtain a full copy of the Monster Employment Index report for August 2008, and access current individual data charts for each of the 28 metro markets tracked, please visit http://corporate.monster.com/Press_Room/MEI.html. Data for the month of September 2008 will be released on October 2, 2008.
About the Monster Employment Index
Launched in April 2004 with data collected since October 2003, the Monster Employment Index is a broad and comprehensive monthly analysis of U.S. online job demand conducted by Monster Worldwide, Inc. Based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large, representative selection of corporate career sites and job boards, including Monster, the Monster Employment Index presents a snapshot of employer online recruitment activity nationwide. All of the data and findings in the Monster Employment Index have been validated for their accuracy through independent, third party auditing conducted on a monthly basis by Research America, Inc. The audit validates the accuracy of the online job recruitment activity measured within a margin of error of +/- 1.05%.
About Monster Worldwide
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: MNST),parent company of Monster(R), the premier global online employment solution for more than a decade, strives toinspire people to improve their lives.With alocal presence inkey markets in North America, Europe, and Asia, Monster works for everyone by connecting employers with quality job seekers at all levels and by providing personalized career advice to consumers globally. Throughonline mediasites and services,Monster delivers vast, highly targeted audiencestoadvertisers. Monster Worldwide is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ 100.To learn more about Monster's industry-leading products and services, visit www.monster.com.
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