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September 2009: Employment Activity by U.S. Region

In September the volume of job openings fell by double digits in almost every U.S. region, with the West’s 9.2-point loss being the lone exception. The Northeast performed worst, with activity down 17.8% from August, but despite this managed to boast the highest volume of available jobs of all other U.S. regions, largely due to impressive growth seen over the summer.

NOTE: The CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index calculates all Index scores against a base year of 2007, where the number of job listings available online during each month of 2007 = 100 points. A score < 100 means that the number of job listings in a given month is less than were online during the same month in 2007, while a value > 100 means that more jobs are available during that month than were in 2007.

  • Table of Job Posting Index scores by Region, Jan 2008 - September 2009:
Index Month Northeast Southeast Midwest Southwest West
September 2009 75.6 69.1 65.1 75.4 64.5
August 2009 92.0 83.3 80.4 86.3 73.7
July 2009 87.5 80.3 72.4 88.1 75.0
June 2009 68.6 64.4 60.9 69.4 55.9
May 2009 67.0 61.8 53.1 66.9 51.7
April 2009 46.0 42.5 40.4 47.5 40.1
March 2009 48.1 45.8 39.0 51.6 45.2
February 2009 51.7 50.4 46.6 54.4 50.5
January 2009 66.0 58.5 56.6 70.8 62.6
December 2008 69.7 69.9 59.8 71.8 66.3
November 2008 81.1 76.8 72.7 81.6 78.3
October 2008 75.1 71.5 71.1 79.0 75.2
September 2008 87.0 82.9 86.8 97.8 93.3
August 2008 109.0 102.5 105.8 115.2 109.4
July 2008 106.6 96.4 107.7 111.1 96.3
June 2008 108.0 101.2 100.4 111.7 103.0
May 2008 100.0 97.2 92.2 103.8 97.0
April 2008 98.3 92.3 96.7 99.6 95.5
March 2008 115.2 113.1 108.3 119.3 107.7
February 2008 114.5 105.0 133.6 117.3 105.3
January 2008 101.2 94.6 103.3 113.5 100.3

Tracking hiring performance back to January 2008, the West continues to remain the weakest of all U.S. regions, as it has for all but one month since April 2009. After leading the U.S. in job availability almost continuously since January 2008, however, the Southwest's volume of available jobs has now been lower than that of the Northeast for two months in a row. That said, by posting the second-smallest month-to-month decline behind the West, the region managed to finish just 0.2 points behind the Northeast with an Index Score of 75.4. If this current trend continues into October, the Southwest should again emerge as the best U.S. region for job seekers, despite the down market.

  • Chart of Job Posting Index scores by Region, Jan 2008 - September 2009:

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