The job posting data released today by The Conference Board suggests that the U.S. recovery is as tepid as economists fear.
“While the trend has been modestly upward and averaged 40,000 per month over the last five months, the labor market continues to have a hard time gaining momentum,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. “The Conference Board Employment Trends Index, which has been basically flat for three straight months, also helps highlight the difficulty the labor market is facing. With a growing consensus of a weak recovery, businesses seem to be slow to boost advertising for vacant or new positions.”
The Conference Board and its data partner, Wanted Technologies, survey some 1,200 online job boards counting all the unduplicated jobs and comparing them to the jobs listed the month before to come up with both a total online job count as well as a new job count. For September there were 3.363 million jobs listed; 2.018 million were new.
Despite the drop, there were still 67,000 more jobs advertised online in September than two months earlier, thanks to a big jump in postings in August. The listings increased by 169,000 in August, the second biggest increase in the year. (In May, listings increased by 199,000.)
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Regionally, there were more jobs advertised in the South than elsewhere in the nation. There 1.215 million jobs were online, a drop of 45,400.
As might be expected, healthcare job openings continued to outpace other occupations. In the Healthcare Practioner and Technical category, some 28,000 listings were added. Every other occupational category listed by The Conference Board saw a drop.
The Conference Board’s monthly Help-Wanted Online Data Series is the earliest of the monthly reports detailing the condition of employment in the U.S. The Monster Employment Index will be released on Thursday and Friday the much-watched Employment Situation Summary (better known as the unemployment rate) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will be announced.