Does Monster's Index See a Turnaround in Help-Wanted Declines?

By: E&P Staff The decline in online help-wanted postings is slowing, according to the Monster Employment Index. In October the index increased one point, compared with September, to 120. Year-over-year, the index was down 20% -- "the most moderate annual rate of decline since October 2008," Monster said.

The index measures U.S. online job demand from corporate career Web sites, job boards and sites like Monster.

Job availability advanced in seven sectors (the index covers 20 total) with health care and social assistance registering the largest demand.

"The rise in the October index, along with an improvement in the annual rate, indicate a mild expansion in the underlying employer demand for workers," Jesse Harriott, Monster Worldwide's senior vice president and chief knowledge officer, said in a statement. "While the decline in consumer confidence has likely contributed to reduced job demand in the retail and hospitality sectors, employers are actively recruiting in the health care and public sectors, resulting in stability of the overall index."

Employee demand is still very weak in some sectors, including retail -- which "experienced an uncharacteristic dip" for the second consecutive month. This points to a sluggish holiday period. Arts and entertainment, food services and real estate are also lower.

Of the 28 cities monitored, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Detroit registered the largest gains in October compared to September.


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