NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 4, 2007--The Monster Employment Index declined eight points to a level of 167 in December, reflecting an anticipated year-end seasonal slowdown in U.S. online recruitment typical of the final month of the year. Following two consecutive months of growth, the Index's drop last month closely mirrors similar declines in past years when employer recruitment efforts have traditionally eased amid the year-end holiday season. Since its inception in 2003, the Index has dipped at least three points each year in the month of December. Nevertheless, year-over-year growth for Index now stands at 22 points, or 15 percent, demonstrating greater overall U.S. online job availability compared to 2005.
During the month of December, 13 of the 20 industries and 21 of the 23 occupational categories tracked by the Index registered declines of varying degrees in online job demand. The Index also showed reduced online job availability across all nine U.S. Census Bureau regions.
Monster Employment Index results for the past 13 months are as follows:Dec. Nov. Oct. Sept. Aug. Jul. Jun. May Apr. Mar. Feb. Jan. Dec. 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 06 05 ----------------------------------------------------------------- 167 175 172 172 173 165 171 167 163 164 157 151 145 -----------------------------------------------------------------
"December is historically the slowest month of the year in terms of online recruitment activity, so it's not surprising to see the Index retract a bit, just as it has done over the past three years. However, the broader picture for 2006 was a mostly positive one, as overall online job opportunities continued to expand throughout the better part of the year," said Steve Pogorzelski, Group President, International at Monster Worldwide. "The Index's stepwise growth last year was driven largely by robust payroll growth of about 150,000 new jobs per month, a gradual tightening of the job market rendering recruitment more challenging, and continued print-to-online migration of help-wanted advertising."
Transportation and Warehousing; Accommodation and Food Services Show Sharpest Industry Declines in December
Online job availability in the transportation and warehousing industry registered the sharpest decline among industries, plunging 13 points following heightened job demand in the previous months as shipping and parcel companies sought to hire temporary workers in preparation for surging holiday shipping volumes. Accommodation and food services also declined for the third consecutive month, shedding 12 points and suggesting softer demand for restaurant and hospitality workers at the conclusion of the year. Eleven other industries showed lower levels of online job availability during the month.
In contrast, the real estate, rental and leasing industry gained seven points, registering its first monthly increase in online job demand since June. This up-tick in activity is consistent with other recent economic data, including increased mortgage applications and further stabilization in sales of new and existing homes, providing signs that the housing market's slide over the past year may be bottoming out. Online demand for workers in public administration also rose last month, reflecting strong government hiring activity. The public administration category has registered the highest annual percentage growth among industries monitored by the Index. Online opportunities for professional, scientific and technical positions edged up two points, demonstrating robust demand in the overall services sector.
Online Recruitment of IT; Community and Social Services; and Legal Occupations Falls
Twenty-one of the 23 occupational categories tracked by the Index showed reduced online job availability in December, led by protective service (down 18 points) which registered the strongest rate of decline. Most blue-collar categories declined in line with seasonal expectations, but several white-collar occupations, including office and administrative support (down 12 points) and business and financial operations (down eight points), fell more than anticipated.
Demand for computer and mathematical occupations plunged 15 points amid sharply reduced online job availability of IT, software development, and computer services positions. Nevertheless, the category has shown strong upward growth since the beginning of the year and is now 26 points higher than in December 2005.
The Index also showed a significant drop in online job availability for community and social services, as well as legal occupations, last month. The legal category fell 11 points, extending a four-month downward trend, while the large pullback in community and social services snapped that category's four-month upward growth trend.
Only personal care and service registered a slight improvement in online job opportunities in December, edging up one point amid reports of higher demand for luxury goods and services during the holiday shopping season.Online Job Demand Declines in All Nine U.S. Regions in December
During December, online job demand fell by varying degrees in all nine U.S. Census regions, led by the Pacific region, which plunged 11 points amid seemingly weaker job creation in Southern California. The most moderate downturn was registered in the South Atlantic region (down five points) due to unexpected strength in D.C. and Maryland. The West South Central region (down seven points) remains the Index's top performer in terms of annual growth.
All 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia showed varying declines in online job availability last month. From a year ago, the state of Louisiana has seen the largest improvement.
To obtain a full copy of the Monster Employment Index report for December 2006, including all charts and tables, please visit http://www.monsterworldwide.com/Press_Room/MEI.html . Data for the month of January 2007 will be released on February 1, 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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