December 2010: In Holiday Lull, Employment Activity Declines 5%

December 2010: In Holiday Lull, Employment Activity Declines 5%
careercast.com jobserf employment index
CareerCast.com Tue, 12/28/2010 - 20:31
Author
CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index

 

While the holiday season is typically a slow period for hiring, November saw a surprising lift in overall employment activity, jumping 9% for the month. In December, however, the job market has returned to form – overall employment activity in the U.S. fell 5.6% for the month to an Index score of 99.9. Though just 0.4 points above September’s score, the overall CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index is still a full 26 points higher than it was in December of 2009, indicating a substantial job market recovery over the past year.

What does an overall Index score of 99.9 for December 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 99.9, on the other hand, means that while employment activity has fallen back below 2007 levels for second time in the last three months.

Index Month Index Score Monthly Change
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

After reaching a high of 106.9 in July, employment activity declined steadily until November, when a sudden surge put hiring on pace to finish the 2010 at its highest point in over two years. Instead, December’s decline means that employment activity will once again finish below 2007 levels for the third year in a row. However, overall employment activity in the U.S. still grew by 29.1 points over the course of 2010, or more than 40%.

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Next Page: December Employment Activity by U.S. Region

Career Topics
Employment Trends

December 2010: Employment Activity by U.S. Region

December 2010: Employment Activity by U.S. Region CareerCast.com Tue, 12/28/2010 - 20:49

December 2010: Employment Activity by Job Title

December 2010: Employment Activity by Job Title CareerCast.com Tue, 12/28/2010 - 20:59

December 2010: The 10 Best and Worst Cities to Find a Job

December 2010: The 10 Best and Worst Cities to Find a Job
capitol building in fog
CareerCast.com Mon, 12/27/2010 - 21:17
Author
CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index

While the Northeast as a whole saw employment activity improve in December, many of the region’s major cities didn’t fare as well. Washington, D.C. saw hiring decline by 19 points in December, one of the city’s worst performances of the year. That said, the nation’s capital remained the best U.S. city to find a job, a position it has held for the past three years. Also marking three years as one of the best cities to find a job is Boston, which held onto second place despite seeing employment activity fall 23 points to an Index score of 128.

Though every U.S. city in the top 10 suffered losses in employment activity in December, some still managed to gain ground for the month. With just a four point decline, Baltimore climbed past Atlanta to finish in fifth place overall, and Philadelphia overtook Cleveland to end the year as the 10 best city for finding a job. Last month marked Cleveland’s second appearance in the top 10 this year, but both times the city has quickly slid back down the rankings.

Want to know where the jobs are right now? Check out December, 2010’s 10 Best Cities for Finding a New Job:

Rank City Score Ranking Change
1 Washington, D.C. 167 +/-0
2 Boston, MA 128 +/-0
3 San Francisco 117 +/-0
4 Seattle 100 +/-0
5 Baltimore 91 +1
6 Atlanta 83 -1
7 Chicago 78 +/-0
8 New York 77 +/-0
9 Denver 71 +/-0
10 Philadelphia 67 +2

Next Page: December’s 10 Worst Cities to Find a Job

Career Topics
Employment Trends

December 2010: The 10 Worst Cities to Find a Job

December 2010: The 10 Worst Cities to Find a Job

While Washington, D.C., marked three years as the best city in America to find a job, December also saw Riverside, CA hit a less auspicious milestone. For 36 straight months, the city in southern California’s Inland Empire region has been stuck as the worst U.S. city to find a job. Riverside’s poor finish was bittersweet, however, as it was also the only city among all 30 metro areas measured by the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index to avoid posting a loss in December.

There were few changes among the 10 worst cities to find a job in December, as Memphis, Detroit, Tampa and Louisville rounded out the bottom five for the sixth month in a row. Finishing in 25th place was Cincinnati, which posted a 10 point loss for the month and fell from 21st place.

If you want to relocate but are worried about moving to a bad job market, take note of these metro areas, which make up December 2010’s 10 Worst Cities to Find a Job:

CareerCast.com Tue, 12/28/2010 - 21:35