NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 1, 2007--The Monster Employment Index rose one point to a level of 168 in January, as online recruitment activity began to pick up following a year-end seasonal slowdown in December.
The Index's moderate gain last month stands in sharp contrast to the large surge seen in January 2006, when the U.S. economy was expanding at a very rapid pace before cooling off in the second and third quarters of last year. As a result, the Index's year-over-year growth rate dipped to 11.3 percent, reflecting further moderation in recruitment activity. However, the Index remains up on a year-over-year basis, despite a slowdown in recruitment activity.
During the month of January, 12 of the 20 industries and 5 of the 23 occupational categories tracked by the Index showed increased online job availability and rose by varying degrees.
Monster Employment Index results for the past 13 months are as follows:Jan. Dec. Nov. Oct. Sept. Aug. Jul. Jun. May Apr. Mar. Feb. Jan. 07 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 168 167 175 172 172 173 165 171 167 163 164 157 151 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
"The fact that the Monster Employment Index saw a more modest improvement last month compared to the first month in previous years provides an early indication that the U.S. will see a slower growth rate of online job availability in 2007 compared to the rapid pace measured during 2006," said Steve Pogorzelski, Group President, International at Monster Worldwide. "January's Index results are consistent with what others are predicting for overall labor market growth. Monthly payroll growth during 2006 is expected to average 130,000 jobs per month, compared to an average of more than 150,000 per month during 2006."
Management of Companies and Enterprises; Transportation and Warehousing; and Utilities Show Sharpest Increases in January
The management of companies and enterprises category registered the sharpest increase in online job availability among industries last month, rising 12 points and reflecting high demand for labor among holding companies and similar corporate sector entities thanks in part to a bullish stock market, more concentrated business ownership, and a fairly healthy earnings season. Transportation and warehousing also rose 11 points, suggesting a correction from the previous month when holiday recruitment needs had been filled, and demonstrating high demand for workers due to booming international trade.
After an exceptionally mild November and December, utilities, up eight points, registered the highest annual rate of increase in the Index in more than a year in January, as colder weather finally set in across the country. Nine other industries showed varying degrees of increase in online job availability during the month.
In contrast, finance and insurance fell seven points, decreasing for the third consecutive month and now down on a year-over-year basis for the first time on record. The decline in January suggests that financial executives are continuing to hire in the first quarter of 2007, but at a slightly slower pace than during the fourth quarter of 2006. Online demand for workers in mining also declined in January, falling five points.
In addition, construction (up 6) and real estate and rental and leasing (up 2) registered continued growth in online job opportunities in January, following a period of soft demand during most of the second half of 2006. Combined with recent data on building permits, housing starts and home sales, the results of the Index suggest further stabilization in the residential real estate sector, which weighed so heavily on economic growth in the second half of 2006.
Legal; Food Preparation and Serving; and Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media Occupations All Rise in January
Five of the 23 occupations monitored showed increased online job availability between December and January, led by legal occupations, which surged 14 points, mirroring findings from previous years as January marks the start of the annual hiring cycle for lawyers and related legal staff. Food preparation and serving jumped five points, extending its upward trajectory and suggesting continued strength in the food services industry and the broader hospitality sector. Online demand for workers in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media related occupations also turned higher, rising two points, indicating continued high demand for marketing, advertising, design and PR professionals across the country.
Several blue-collar occupations noted significantly reduced online job availability in January. The three main categories: construction and extraction; production; and transportation and material moving; are now also down on a year-over-year basis. While colder weather may have contributed to weaker demand last month, the over-the-year decline also reflects a cooling housing market and continued weakness in manufacturing, particularly in the automotive industry. Buildings and grounds cleaning and maintenance and installation, maintenance, and repair also noted a decline in postings, according to the Index.
Various service occupations remain on top of the list of fastest growing categories over the past 12 months, led by community and social services, showing a 30 percent year-over-year growth rate, and protective services, with a 28 percent year-over-year growth rate. Although online job availability for life, physical, and social science occupations dipped slightly between December and January, the category has seen solid growth, showing a 16 percent year-over-year growth rate, driven by heightened demand for college professors, as well as researchers and scientists in general.Online Job Demand Declines in All Nine U.S. Regions in December
The Index fell by varying degrees in all nine U.S. Census divisions for a second consecutive month. The most moderate downturn was noted in both the West South Central and Pacific regions, each slipping two points in January. While the West South Central region (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas) continued to show strength, the Pacific region has remained mostly flat, due to slowing demand in California, Oregon and Washington State. The West North Central region, which fell six points in January, remains the second best performer in terms of annual growth.
A majority of the 50 states and the District of Columbia registered fewer online job opportunities in January. With the exception of Alaska, Alabama and Florida, all states are up year over year.
To obtain a full copy of the Monster Employment Index report for January 2007, including all charts and tables, please visit http://www.monsterworldwide.com/Press_Room/MEI.html . Data for the month of February 2007 will be released on March 8, 2007.
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 more than 1,500 Web sites, including a variety of corporate career sites, job boards and 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 ARC Research. 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 to bring people together to advance their lives. With a local presence in key 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. Through online media sites and services, Monster delivers vast, highly targeted audiences to advertisers. 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 . More information about Monster Worldwide is available at www.monsterworldwide.com .
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