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June 2009: Managerial Hiring Activity Improves For Second Month in a Row

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

The pace of online job posting continued to improve in June, though growth was a bit slower than the month before. The June rise marks two straight months of increased job-posting activity, and just the third positive month since November 2008.

Struggling job seekers may finally be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Hiring activity in the U.S. is still well below the levels seen in mid-2008, but according to new data, the number of job openings for C-level, VP, Director and Managerial candidates improved in June, continuing the spring’s positive trend for the second month in a row.

Measuring the volume of online job posting across America, this month’s CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index shows that June activity rose 3.8 points – to a total score of 60.4 – which marks the second straight month of positive activity after the index hit a low of 41.4 in April 2009. Values for each month are measured against a base score of 100, which represents the level of hiring activity during the same month in 2007.

“It’s very promising that the demand for managers and executives has risen two months in a row,” says Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com. “White-collar candidates who visited job boards in June saw more opportunities than they’ve seen in quite some time, which is a great sign.” Further improving the picture for job seekers is that postings were up across all managerial levels, with C-Level candidates in particular seeing a 9-point improvement in volume from May, to a score of 74 overall. This represents the largest number of C-Level postings seen online since September 2008.

In addition to C-Suite members, job seekers in the Midwest also saw a noticeable increase in available positions. While all regions across the U.S. enjoyed at least a small uptick in job-posting activity, middle America’s 6.9-point boost (to an index score of 60.9) was the largest by a significant margin. That said, the Southwest still leads all U.S. regions in overall job posting volume, with a score of 69.4 in June. Trailing the pack were Western states, which sported an index score of 55.9 -- a full five points behind the next-worst region.

An exclusive barometer tracking changes in managerial job openings posted online, the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index offers valuable information for job seekers trying to gain an edge in the market. What makes the Index unique? Using proprietary data, we measure job postings across a wide range of online job boards and job search engines, rather than just one or two large boards, in order to gain a broader perspective on employment trends. In addition, listings are manually vetted to ensure that only legitimate job openings are counted. A typical month's count includes more than one million job listings tracked by our research team (for more information on how we gather and process our month-by-month data, consult the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index Methodology page).

“Now that the index has begun to rise and online job listings become more plentiful, managers and executives will have an easier time finding new employment,” says Jay Martin, JobSerf’s chairman. Of course, the picture is not all rosy for job seekers. At 60.4, the overall an index score for online job posting is still 40 points lower than in June 2008, which had a score of 102.6. According to Martin, “combined with unemployment doubling last year, this means that locating a job online may be almost three times as competitive” as it was a year ago.

A second straight month of increased job posting may be a relief to anxious workers, but it will take a sustained, long-term recovery before the volume of available jobs returns to mid-2008 levels, says Martin. For job seekers, a light may finally be at the end of the tunnel, but reaching it is likely several months away.

Complete information on the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index's findings can be found in our detailed scoring pages:

 


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