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Economy in Brief

Monster Website Helps Find Jobs, And It's Indicating Greater Availability
by Tom Moeller May 10, 2010

The newspaper, word-of-mouth, and personal contacts each are tools for job-searching. In this the internet age, however, postings of available jobs can also be found online. Monster.com, provided by Monster Worldwide Inc., is a web-site which keeps track of many job listings. The monthly figures are available by Census region, industry, and by occupation. Haver Analytics carries Monster's data back to 2003 in its SURVEYS database.

Since its inception, the three-month change in the Monster index has a 68% correlation with growth in nonfarm payrolls.

Keep in mind that 2003-04 = 100 is the base for the Monster Index. From the end of the last recession until this past January, it has stayed in a range from 114 to 121. Most recently, however, it's broken from that range -- to the upside. The April figure of 133 was the strongest in the last three months of improved readings. Moreover, the figure was up 16.7% from its trough. For the most part, double-digit gains have been logged across most of the U.S. Only two regions are substantially lagging with single-digit readings in the Mountain and in the East-South-Central areas.

By industry, recent improvement also has been broad-based with strong double-digit growth in the construction, manufacturing and retail trade sectors. Job openings in the white-collar finance & insurance, management and professional, scientific/tech services industries also have grown at double-digit rates. Jobs availability in health-care and education have grown at slower rates.

Looking once again at the overall level since 2003 shows variation in industry postings. A level of 133 in the total indicates that since inception, there has been a one-third rise in on-line advertising for overall employment. That reflects a range of near-doubling of listings for construction and government jobs to a halving of listings for positions in finance & insurance.

  April March February April '09 2009 2008 2007
Monster Employment Index  133 125 124 120 118 158 182
   Construction 195 176 165 170 167 202 225
   Manufacturing 91 84 83 82 81 111 129
   Retail Trade 137 124 116 118 124 158 184
   Finance & Insurance 53 52 51 57 52 105 143
   Real Estate & Rental Leasing 62 63 57 53 54 92 135
   Company & Enterprise Mgmt.  117 111 111 107 107 144 157 
   Education  89 82 81 80 81 106 126
   Heath Care/Social Assistance 91 86 84 98 92 114 121
   Public Administration 183 182 190 197 188 199 161
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