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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monster Employment Index Up

I missed this report earlier in the month. The Monster Employment Index gave us some encouraging news on US employment activity.... another positive bounce.

The Index is a broad monthly analysis of US online job demand conducted
by Monster - the online job bulletin board. The index is based on a real-time view of millions of employer job opportunities from a large, representative selection of online career outlets nationwide. (Remember our calculations of over 700,000 Fortune-1000 jobs available at the end of Jan?)

The Monster index bounced up in Feb for the first time since last October.
(click chart to enlarge)

Source: Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW)

Other highlights from the report:

• Occupations in Business and Financial Operations witnessed gains.

• All geographic regions exhibited increased recruitment activity in February,
except the Pacific region which remained flat

• Online demand for workers grew in 25 of the 28 major metro markets, led by
Pittsburgh and Houston

This report is consistent with what we are also seeing in the government data. Initial claims for the March 14 week did fall back 12,000. Total claims remained high, but a leading indicator of recovery is when these initial claims totals continue to fall consistently.

Given the fact that the Feb Monster data is more dynamic, look for initial claims to fall again when the claims data is released later this week. (Also remember that we saw corporate layoffs curbed significantly in February) . Although initial claims are likely to begin falling from here, unemployment may continue to rise for a time. It is however the initial claims falling that indicates that recovery is near.

Interestingly, the consensus among the majority of experts is that claims will rise. So look for a headline something like "initial claims for unemployment unexpectedly fall..." later this week.

(Thanks for all your emails and good news stories. Keep them coming to good.news.econ@gmail.com)

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