From September through the February 2nd job-posting census Dice.com lost 33 percent of its listings. Over the last 12 months, since February 1, 2008 when 94,423 jobs were online, to Feb. 2, when 57,337 postings were counted, the job count dropped 39.3 percent. In fact, the one-month drop from December to January (17.7 percent) was the worst in the six years of posting records Dice released.
CNET saw a glimmer of improvement in the change since the beginning of the year, but that 3.1 percent increase in listings may be nothing more than the seasonal bounce that follows the end-of-year drop in listings for most job boards. It’s also the smallest Jan-Feb. change in the last six years.
Not all is entirely gloomy. Dice did show an increase in contract positions during the Jan.-Feb. period. Contract jobs accounted for about 42 percent of the total jobs, the highest since the tech recovery of the first half of the decade. But the actual increase in jobs was slight and it doesn’t necessarily mean more temp jobs are coming online. Employers can choose to categorize the jobs they have in multiple ways, so it’s possible that more employers are choosing to list an opening as both full-time and contract.
A Dice survey reported in December that 7 in 10 recruiters and hiring managers expect to curtail their hiring of technology professionals at least through June. The survey also found that almost half expected layoffs.
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No surprise, therefore, that Dice had a tough 4th quarter, reporting a loss of $2.9 million. It also saw its revenues drop 10 percent, from $39.5 million in 2007 to $35.5 million. For the year, Dice Holdings, which owns Dice.com and eFinancialCareers.com, among others, reported revenues of $155 million and profit of $15.3 million, a slight decline from the prior year’s $15.5 million profit (before certain dividends) on revenue of $142 million. Dice.com is responsible for about 70 percent of the company’s revenue.
The company warned that it expected net income in 2009 to be off a third, coming in around $10 million. Revenues for 2009 are projected at $110 million. The first-quarter revenues are expected at $29.5 million, so it appears Dice expects things to continue to get worse before they get better.