Employment Index Gains Nine Points in February

NewYork, NY, March 9, 2007--The Monster Employment Index jumped nine points to a level of 177 in February, demonstrating a strong, broad increase in online demand for workers across the United States. The sharp upturn in overall U.S. online recruitment activity last month pushed the Index to its highest level since its inception in October 2003. The Index's year-over-year growth rate also edged higher to a total of 20 points or 13 percent, a moderate improvement from last month's pace of growth.


During the month of February, 19 of 20 industries, 22 of 23 occupational categories and all nine U.S. Census Bureau regions tracked by the Index registered increased online job availability.


"The significant jump in February marks the Monster Employment Index's largest monthly increase on record, and indicates a sharp rebound in online job availability following January's weaker-than-usual results," said Steve Pogorzelski, Group President, International at Monster Worldwide. "The significant increase last month is encouraging, and indicates a broad strengthening in online demand among U.S. employers at the midpoint of the first quarter. The Index is now up a solid 20 points year-over-year, reflecting a slightly higher annual growth rate than in the previous month."


Transportation and Warehousing; Utilities Show Sharpest Gains in February


Following a moderate rise in January, online job demand in the utilities industry surged 15 points in February, making it the Index's top growth industry on a year-over-year basis. Although recruiting activities within the utilities sector have historically spiked in the first quarter in previous years, the strong increase last month suggests a particularly heightened need for workers in heating services and repair and maintenance personnel.


Transportation and warehousing also jumped 15 points last month, as online recruitment activity increased to support expanded shipping and distribution activities across the nation. Despite a slowing U.S. economy, high worldwide demand and a weak U.S. dollar continue to contribute to an active export market.


The increase in online opportunities in the manufacturing sector last month was the largest monthly gain in six months, giving the category its highest year-over-year growth pace since November 2005. Public administration remains one of the fastest growing industry categories in the Index.


Management of companies and enterprises (up 10 points) rose for the second consecutive month, as holding companies, investment, trust and office management companies continued to expand their online hiring efforts. Despite the still-cooling U.S. residential housing sector, the construction category also extended a two-month growth period, gaining six points amid greater demand for non-residential construction jobs, such as civil and commercial construction.


Online Demand for Legal; Personal Care and Service; and Food Preparation and Serving Workers Rises in February


Legal occupations registered the sharpest rate of growth in online demand in February, building on a strong rise in January. While recruitment activity for legal occupations has historically risen in the early Spring, the size of the increase last month points to unusually high employer demand for attorneys, paralegals and various legal support staff. Online opportunities for personal care and service occupations also surged in February, reflecting a seasonal build up in demand during the spring months for workers in the fitness, recreation and personal appearance occupations.


Online job availability for food preparation and serving related occupations also rose last month, as the category gained five points, achieving its highest year-over-year growth rate since November 2005. Online recruitment for food service workers is accelerating, mirroring U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that many new jobs in the U.S. are being created in lower-wage service occupations. In addition to reflecting the continued growth and expansion of the U.S. restaurant and hospitality industry, the Index's findings suggest that employers within the sector are increasingly turning to online recruitment to meet their staffing needs.


In addition to legal occupations, other white-collar segments saw online job demand increase in February, including business and financial operations, which surged 13 points, indicating strong demand for accounting, auditing, and financial reporting professionals. Opportunities for workers in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media (up seven points) also increased, mostly due to an influx of online opportunities for creative occupations such as advertising, marketing and PR professionals.


Despite showing moderate increases last month, blue-collar occupations are still feeling the effects of a cooling housing market and slumping manufacturing sector, particularly in the auto industry. Categories such as architecture and engineering (up 11 points); construction and extraction (up nine points); and production (up 10 points) each saw growth in February, but remain flat on a year-over-year basis.


Online Job Demand Rises in All Nine U.S. Regions in February


The Index showed greater online job availability across all nine U.S. Census divisions in February, with the West South Central region (up 18 points) registering the strongest gain, reflecting a booming Texas economy and ongoing reconstruction efforts along the Gulf Coast. The Mountain region (up five points) increased the least, and slipped further in terms of its year-over-year growth pace, largely due to a slowdown in Arizona and Nevada.


A total of 48 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, saw increased online job opportunities in February. Texas jumped the most, followed by Colorado and Vermont. Almost all states are up year-over-year, with Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska growing at the fastest pace.

Related Topics:U.S. Census Bureau