November 2010: Jobs For the Holidays? Employment Activity Increases

November 2010: Jobs For the Holidays? Employment Activity Increases

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

The holidays typically are a slow period for employment activity, as companies and job seekers alike put their plans on hold until the new year. However, hiring actually improved during the holidays last year despite the recession, jumping 9% between October and December. And this holiday season is again proving to be a great time to find a job, as employment activity rose by 6.4% in November, ending a three month skid to finish at an Index score of 105.9. In addition, November’s score marks the first time that the CareerCast.com/JobSerfEmployment Index has risen above 100 since August, and is 32.2 points higher than during the same period last year.

What does an overall Index score of 105.9 for November 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. Over the past 34 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 105.9, on the other hand, means that while employment activity is back above 2007 levels for the first time since August, it still trails the March 2008 peak by 3.4 points.

  • USA Hiring Index Table, Jan 2008 - Nov 2010:
Index Month Index Score Monthly Change
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

Employment activity across the U.S. has risen significantly this year, gaining nearly 40 points between January and July. However, after a period of relatively steady improvement, the job market suddenly began to decline again over the summer, as the Index slid from a score of 106.9 to 99.5 between July and October. A strong performance in November has brought the Index back to within one point of peak levels for 2010, and puts employment activity on pace to post its strongest month of the year in December.

  • Chart of USA Hiring, Jan 2008 - Nov 2010:

 

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