Monster Take on Talent: November Charts Retail Recovery
November Brings Recovery for Retail and Real Estate Sectors
By: Connie Blaszczyk, Monster Resource Center Managing Editor
As the East Coast struggled to recover from Hurricane Sandy, the Monster Employment Index (MEI) charted annual growth of 7 percent in November. The trend was slightly above the range of annual growth observed since May. This marks a 33nd consecutive month of positive year-on-year growth.
The MEI is a monthly gauge of U.S. online job posting activity based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities, culled from a wide representative selection of career Web sites and online job listings.
Positive Signs in Housing and Retail
While Sandy left many areas of the Eastern seaboard submerged, some economic sectors managed to remain afloat. Indicators such as housing starts, residential housing sales, retail sales and consumer confidence actually pointed to economic expansion in November.
November retail trade led all sectors in the rate of online recruitment growth over the year, with recruitment activity actually ratcheting higher from its traditional seasonal peak in October.
Meanwhile, real estate continued to track double-digit annual growth. The rebounding real estate market spawned opportunities for growth in adjacent industries as well. This included a much-reported expansion in mortgage-processing employment in recent months within the banking and insurance sectors.
These trends positively impacted growth trajectories in the finance and insurance sectors, as well as in business and financial operations.
The administrative support sector — which includes jobs in administrative assistant and secretarial support, data entry, office and property management, among others — rose to the top five rankings in the November Index. The trend was propelled by an escalation in recruitment for temporary help workers, an occupational subgroup that had seen lower demand in recent months.
Overall, the upswing in online recruitment was most pronounced for computer and mathematical occupations, while installation/maintenance/repair and office/administrative support and protective services also saw sizable volumes and year-on-year growth rates.
To date this year, the only sectors to record reductions in online recruitment levels were utilities, arts, entertainment and recreation.
Regional Job Opportunities
Among the 50 states and the District, 42 registered positive annual growth rates in the November Index. Missouri and Texas replaced Hawaii and Utah in the top 5 lineup when ranking states by year-on-year growth.
The five states that saw the highest year-over-year growth were:
- North Dakota: 20%
- Michigan: 13%
- Missouri: 13%
- Texas: 13%
- Colorado: 13%
The recent acceleration in Texas brings its in growth trajectory more in line with what was seen earlier in 2012. California is another large-population state that showed increased momentum, as annual growth hit a 12 percent pace in November.
Washington, DC, South Dakota, and Alaska registered annual declines in November in contrast with flat or positive growth trends in prior months.
Local Market Trends
Locally, the November MEI saw Los Angeles leading all metropolitan areas in annual growth. Online recruitment in LA has been building for several months, led by occupational categories such as computer/mathematical and architecture/engineering.
New York City was the largest of the metropolitan markets tracked by the Index to register a slowdown in annual growth rate in November – down 2 percent from October’s 8 percent. This trend likely reflects the impact of extreme weather events at the close of October, as opposed to a larger change of direction for the metro area.
Meanwhile, white collar professional categories such as computer/mathematical and architecture/engineering continued to chart steady growth in the New York metro area. These sectors led the local New York Index along with transportation and material moving.
Looking south, annual growth for the Orlando market turned negative in November. This was the first of the major metropolitan areas to chart year-on-year reductions since March 2010. The Orlando area also saw a downward trend in online recruitment within management, office and administrative support and military job postings in November.
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