August 2012: Employment Rebounds, Nears Year-High

August 2012: Employment Rebounds, Nears Year-High
August 2012 JobSerf Report
CareerCast.com Thu, 08/23/2012 - 09:06
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CareerCast.com/JobSerf

August might be the dog days of summer, but the month’s jobs reports hardly lagged. Managerial employment activity online rebounded substantially from a sluggish July, reaching the second highest peak since January 2008, according to the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index. The nearly 10% gain was second only to February for the largest in 2012, and surpassed any monthly increases made in all of 2011.

August gains have been noteworthy each of the past two years. The 8.8% increase a year ago was the most significant of 2011. And yet, the 2012 pace is a considerable six points higher than this time last year.

After August 2011’s measurable leap, September took a 5-point dip. In fact, September employment figures have dropped each year since 2008. But with a presidential election looming in November, JobSerf COO Jay Martin says to expect the unexpected for the remainder of 2012.

“Election cycles provide uncertainty for the hiring market, and this is may become apparent in September and continue possibly through year end,” says Martin.

Volatility on the employment front overtook the 2008 campaign, particularly in September. The 18% drop that month was the largest, single month slide the job market has taken in the last five years, coinciding with historic drops in the stock market and the bankruptcy of such financial titans as Lehman Bros. Sen. John McCain went so far as to briefly suspend his campaign and famously skip an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

In contrast to 2008’s steady slide, 2012 hiring has crept back above pre-recession standards. "The nation has flirted with an improved hiring market repeatedly this year, and each time we take two steps forward, we seem to then take a step back," says Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com. "Hopefully, we're moving to a new level of activity that will sustain for a while."

So, how do we determine these numbers?

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 113.6 for August 2012 mean? The Index measures employment activity against a base score of 100, which represents the volume of job openings during the same period in 2008. A score higher than 100 means that there are more available jobs than in 2008, while one below 100 means that job seekers now have fewer opportunities available. Over the past 55 months, the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Index is higher at 113.6 than in August of 2008.

Index Month Index Score Monthly Change
August 2012 113.6 +11.1
July 2012 102.5 -1.2
June 2012 103.7 +6.2
May 2012 97.5 -3.8
April 2012 101.3 -15.3
March 2012 116.9 +9.9
February 2012 107.0 +12.0
January 2012 95.0 -0.1
December 2011 95.1 -8.4
November 2011 103.5 -0.9
October 2011 104.4 +1.8
September 2011 102.6 -5.0
August 2011 107.6 +9.4
July 2011 98.2 -2.1
June 2011 100.3 -0.2
May 2011 100.5 -10.1
April 2011 110.6 +1.1
March 2011 109.5 +5.2
February 2011 104.3 +0.6
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

 

Big gains in Hartford and Boston carried the Northeast in August. Read on and learn how each region of the U.S. fared.

Career Topics
Employment Trends

August 2012: Employment Activity By Region

August 2012: Employment Activity By Region

Sizable increases in Hartford, Baltimore and Boston made the Northeast the nation’s most active region for managerial employment this month. After dipping below pre-2008 levels earlier this summer, the region surged closer to its March 2012 pinnacle of 111.9.

"Boston and Hartford led the way in raw gains as well as percentage increase,” Martin says. “Hartford had historically been ranked where it is [No. 14 nationally], and is now returning." Hartford ranked No. 18 at the start of the year, and is nearing its five-year high of 73 reached last August. Boston achieved its best numbers yet, with an index score of 159.

The Nutmeg State’s largest city shows growth after increased unemployment claims in May and June. The BLS projected Hartford’s unemployment rate at 8.5 in June, near its January 2012 mark, but considerably higher than its 7.4 total in April.

The Associated Press reported Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s announced expansion of accounting firm Deloitte and Touche at the beginning of the month, anticipating 500 new positions in addition to more than 1,100 employees already in the state. That news came just weeks after a $19 million state loan was granted for the creation of 400 jobs in steel manufacturing.

Elsewhere, Dallas showed continued improvement, moving up for a third consecutive month. The Southwest as a whole experienced a 6.9 % decrease – yet remains 3.7 % ahead of 2011 standards.

Those regions that dipped in August – hiring in the West remains stagnant, for example – only did so marginally. And even the West, lagging behind 2008 numbers as a whole, featured 6% improvement in its largest city, Los Angeles.

"The slowest cities only had per capita hiring levels drop 1 or 2 points, showing an overall strength of the job market throughout the summer,” Martin says.

Among those cities were Memphis, Tampa and Milwaukee. Their slight drop-offs contributed to overall slides in the Southeast and Midwest. The most notable decline this month was in Cleveland, which dropped three percent. The city is 16% below its Nov. 2010 peak.

Index Month Northeast Southeast Midwest Southwest West
August 2012 103.9 99.0 104.5 113.2 83.6
July 2012 98.4 94.1 102.4 120.2 83.9
June 2012 100.2 95.8 101.7 112.5 82.3
May 2012 88.8 81.7 96.1 106.1 77.2
April 2012 97.8 96.0 99.4 109.0 80.7
March 2012 111.9 110.7 107.5 117.4 87.7
February 2012 109.8 96.4 114.0 109.6 80.9
January 2012 95.5 82.3 93.0 100.2 74.8
December 2011 95.8 88.0 92.5 95.8 73.7
November 2011 105.3 99.6 96.6 105.6 84.5
October 2011 105.7 95.2 98.6 103.3 80.7
September 2011 98.2 96.7 107.4 105.5 85.0
August 2011 108.3 100.6 112.0 109.5 86.9
July 2011 104.2 94.4 101.5 109.0 84.5
June 2011 103.6 95.2 99.3 102.1 81.3
May 2011 105.1 98.7 101.5 111.6 85.6
April 2011 120.3 106.4 120.7 122.1 93.1
March 2011 123.1 109.0 113.2 105.5 87.9
February 2011 118.1 95.5 124.9 106.1 85.3
January 2011 114.3 90.7 112.1 117.3 87.4
December 2010 106.7 97.0 104.6 100.2 82.2
November 2010 100.4 100.1 103.6 112.6 91.6
October 2010 108.8 89.6 98.2 102.4 80.6
September 2010 102.0 91.8 102.0 103.9 84.8
August 2010 108.8 95.6 106.4 105.2 84.3
July 2010 111.7 100.6 101.9 103.5 88.6
June 2010 108.9 100.1 97.0 100.4 79.7
May 2010 98.6 89.2 89.4 102.9 77.5
April 2010 99.7 87.3 91.3 94.9 74.5
March 2010 94.1 85.6 86.3 97.5 71.3
February 2010 94.3 79.4 95.8 88.6 70.9
January 2010 85.0 66.4 76.8 84.8 63.6
December 2009 84.8 76.0 75.1 79.3 67.6
November 2009 84.5 74.7 68.2 77.7 69.5
October 2009 78.0 66.6 62.1 73.7 63.8
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


Continue reading for analysis of how individual job titles fared in August hiring.

CareerCast.com Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:37

August 2012: Employment Activity by Job Title

August 2012: Employment Activity by Job Title

None of the job categories in the report experienced a decline in August; most climbed significantly and approached their springtime highs. C and Director Level hiring jumped six and five points, while VP Level positions rose 14 points. Manager-level employment held steady – slightly down from June, but improved overall since tumbling in April. These positions are also ahead of the curve compared to August figures in 2009 and 2010.

"The level of jobs for managerial positions is currently strong, and we saw clients receive more job [listings] versus other Augusts,” Martin says.

Index Month C-Level VP Level Director Level Manager Level
August 2012 65 118 99 114
July 2012 59 104 94 114
June 2012 57 104 97 115
May 2012 54 100 91 108
April 2012 65 103 96 109
March 2012 60 119 104 133
February 2012 66 109 98 118
January 2012 65 86 92 104
December 2011 52 107 83 106
November 2011 71 97 95 108
October 2011 60 128 96 110
September 2011 66 104 94 113
August 2011 78 93 96 123
July 2011 66 85 91 111
June 2011 70 87 92 113
May 2011 62 93 87 116
April 2011 89 104 105 119
March 2011 104 113 95 118
February 2011 106 104 97 109
January 2011 111 79 105 108
December 2010 71 97 95 108
November 2010 72 113 104 110
October 2010 76 114 98 100
September 2010 81 114 99 99
August 2010 86 115 101 103
July 2010 104 105 105 109
June 2010 77 86 90 98
May 2010 75 88 84 94
April 2010 76 88 91 97
March 2010 68 89 87 96
February 2010 70 77 80 89
January 2010 60 48 83 71
December 2009 57 68 80 74
November 2009 57 68 81 73
October 2009 62 65 77 64
September 2009 63 63 76 66
August 2009 90 75 88 75
July 2009 81 66 85 77
June 2009 74 52 66 57
May 2009 65 50 63 53
April 2009 31 31 48 42
March 2009 22 33 50 47
February 2009 28 37 56 52
January 2009 38 38 75 63
December 2008 35 48 74 71
November 2008 47 56 86 82
October 2008 58 74 81 71
September 2008 82 81 91 88
August 2008 81 100 107 110
July 2008 78 82 111 102
June 2008 110 87 109 101
May 2008 123 83 102 91
April 2008 105 87 98 92
March 2008 102 108 111 110
February 2008 117 122 110 104
January 2008 111 84 107 99

 

August was the third month in 2012 wherein all levels either increased or held steady.

CareerCast.com Thu, 08/23/2012 - 11:46