December 2012: Fiscal Cliff Contributes to Drop in Hiring

December 2012: Fiscal Cliff Contributes to Drop in Hiring


December hiring for managerial positions declined dramatically, falling below December 2010 levels and nearing the lowest level of the year, reports the CareerCast/JobSerf Employment Index. This is the second consecutive month the Index declined amid trepidation of the impending fiscal cliff.

“Since the election, there has been deterioration in preparation for a fiscal cliff gridlock,” says JobSerf CEO Jay Martin.

The Index dropped 3.5 points in December after an 8.1-point decline last month. The overall score is now at 96.8. The Index peaked at 116.9 in March, but December’s mark brings the year-end total closer to January’s 95.0 level.



White-collar hiring in September and October improved, bucking election cycle trends. But since November’s election, uncertainty has led to a more volatile employment market for managerial roles.


"With a change of politicians, and total obscurity as to where the budget negotiations will lead, there is a lot of instability in the hiring markets,” Martin says.

Also showing a more profound impact on hiring numbers this month is Hurricane Sandy. Its devastation on the East Coast in late October and early November had negligible effect on the November managerial hiring index, but contributed to December’s drop. New York lost significant ground, though the Northeast was not the hardest hit region – that was the West, already lagging behind the rest of the nation.

How do we determine these numbers?

The 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 96.8 for December 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 Index is lower at 96.8 than in December 2008.

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