Stagnant job growth in October leaves employment activity below 2007 levels for the second straight month.
CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index
After two straight months of declines, the U.S. job market stabilized in October as employment activity dropped by less than half a percent, causing the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index to post a score of 99.5 overall. While this is the Index's best performance since July, it also marks the second straight month that job growth has remained below 2007 levels. Considering that fall is typically a strong period for hiring, this slowdown in employment activity means that joblessness is likely to remain at current levels throughout the rest of the year.
The CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index calculates the number of available managerial job openings each month by surveying 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. What does an overall Index score of 99.5 for October mean? 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 99.5, on the other hand, means that for the second straight month employment activity is stuck below 2007 levels, trailing the base measurement by 0.5 points.
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Following a period of relative stagnation, employment activity across the U.S. improved by over 15% in July, raising hopes that fall of 2010 would see a sustained hiring turnaround and help return the job market to pre-recession levels by the end of the year. Instead, after peaking at an Index score of 106.9, employment activity has steadily declined over the past three months. That said, the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Index is still trending over 30 points higher than October of last year, and the job market has actually posted a better performance coming out of this summer than in either 2008 or 2009.
Continue to the October 2010 Regional Hiring Report