January 2011: Hiring Rebounds to Start the New Year

January 2011: Hiring Rebounds to Start the New Year

careercast.com jobserf employment index
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CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index

The beginning of the year is traditionally a strong period for employment activity, as companies put new hiring plans into action and workers restart their job searches after the holiday break. Keeping with this trend, according to the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment index, employment activity across the U.S. improved by 3.8% in January 2011, finishing at an overall Index score of 103.7. Beginning the year on a positive note, January’s performance has helped to bring hiring back above 2007 levels, but unfortunately it was still not enough to make up for losses suffered in December. Unless employment activity picks up significantly in the coming months, January’s performance could portend another year of stagnant hiring.

What does an overall Index score of 103.7 for January mean? The CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index calculates the number of available managerial job openings each month by surveying a wide range of local and national job boards across the U.S., with all results hand-counted and checked for duplication by a team of researchers. The Index measures employment activity against a base score of 100, which represents the volume of job openings during the same period in 2007. A score higher than 100 means that there are more available jobs than in 2007, while one below 100 means that job seekers now have fewer opportunities available.

  • Chart of U.S. Hiring, Jan 2009 - Jan 2011:

[fusionchart:4972|w:600|h:450]

January’s Index score of 103.7 puts hiring 32.9 points ahead of the same period last year, but this is still not enough to make a significant dent in national unemployment levels. That said, January is historically the beginning of the annual hiring season, meaning that employment activity is expected to increase further in the coming months. And while the Index still hasn’t returned to its recent high of 106.9 in July, hiring is currently ahead of pre-recession levels from January 2008. Over the past 36 months, the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Index peaked in March 2008 with an index score of 109.3, or 9.3 points better than in March 2007. This month's score of 103.7 is 3.7 points better than in January 2007, and puts the Index on pace to reach a new high score sometime this year.

  • USA Hiring Index Table, Jan 2008 - Jan 2011:
Index Month Index Score Monthly Change
January 2011 103.7 +3.8
December 2010 99.9 -6.0
November 2010 105.9 +6.4
October 2010 99.5 -0.1
September 2010 99.6 -2.7
August 2010 102.3 -4.6
July 2010 106.9 +14.3
June 2010 92.6 +3.6
May 2010 89.0 -3.3
April 2010 92.3 +1.9
March 2010 90.4 +7.1
February 2010 83.3 +12.5
January 2010 70.8 -3.1
December 2009 73.9 +0.2
November 2009 73.7 +5.9
October 2009 67.8 -0.6
September 2009 68.4 -11.4
August 2009 79.8 +1.6
July 2009 78.2 +17.8
June 2009 60.4 +3.8
May 2009 56.6 +15.2
April 2009 41.4 -2.7
March 2009 44.1 -5.4
February 2009 49.5 -12.2
January 2009 61.7 -4.5
December 2008 66.2 -10.9
November 2008 77.1 +3.7
October 2008 73.4 -14.3
September 2008 87.7 -18.0
August 2008 105.7 +5.4
July 2008 100.3 -2.3
June 2008 102.6 +6.8
May 2008 95.8 +1.6
April 2008 94.2 -15.1
March 2008 109.3 +0.3
February 2008 109.0 +8.7
January 2008 100.3 +/-0

 

Next Page: January Employment Activity by U.S. Region

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