Jobs Numbers Seesaw as U.S. Awaits BLS Report

Yesterday we had the Yin (or was it the Yang?) of economic data, offering some hope that the U.S. is indeed climbing out of the jobs hole of the last two three years. Today comes the Yang in the form of unemployment claims and Monster’s Employment Index.

The former is up, which is disappointing. The latter is down. Also disappointing. Both reports are out ahead of tomorrow’s closely watched monthly employment numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Initial claims for unemployment for the week ending Oct. 30 rose 20,000 to 457,000, said the U.S. Department of Labor. The report also raised the number for the previous week from the initially announced 434,000 to 437,000. Economists had expected a rise this week, but only to 445,000.

First-time claims had been declining for the last two weeks, though the numbers have been seesawing since the beginning of the year in range around 460,000. The only good news is that last year initial claims hit 522,000 for the equivalent week in today’s report.

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Meanwhile, Monster’s Index dropped two points and now stands at 136. The Index, which is a measure of the number of jobs posted online on corporate career sites, job boards, and Monster itself. Even with the decline, the Index is 13 percent above where it was in October last year.

Multiple surveys show that job postings themselves are on the rise. The Conference Board’s survey of posts reported there were 113,700 more new jobs posted in October than in September. Job search engine Indeed also reported a rise in October. Of the 12 major industries Indeed tracks, its latest report shows that eight of them increased their postings in October by 50 percent or more. On a quarterly basis, all 12 industry groups were up 25 percent or more.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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