October Staffing: Growth in Construction, Real Estate and Retail Sectors
By: Connie Blaszczyk, Monster Resource Center Managing Editor
The end of October saw Mother Nature take center stage, as Hurricane Sandy brought destruction, power outages and widespread havoc to the East Coast and beyond.
Meanwhile, the October Monster Employment Index (MEI) saw 3 percent annual growth, a rate that’s within the same general range of annual growth observed since May. The trend marks the 32nd consecutive month of positive year-on-year growth since August, 2009.
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.
From a nominal view, the MEI edged up to 155 in October from September’s 153 level. From a seasonal perspective, a slight move upward in October is not uncommon.
Positive Signs in Select Sectors
The October MEI showed year-on-year growth that was marginally positive nationwide, yet broadly positive within select sectors and occupations.
On the bright side: Construction led all sectors in the rate of online recruitment growth; the real estate and rental and leasing sectors also charted improved growth trends, coinciding with other indicators that suggest the housing market is on the mend.
While increased opportunities for tradesmen in the construction occupations as well as installation/maintenance/repair are part of the positive trend, the industry has also registered growth in recruitment for engineering and business operations positions.
Also positive: Retail industry recruitment saw sequential escalation in October and double-digit annual growth suggest that sector employers are preparing for a busier shopping season.
On the down side: Accommodation and food services and arts, entertainment, and recreation did not register similar sequential upticks in recruitment.
Other industry news of note: Transportation and warehousing charted a decelerated rate of growth in October, with annual gains of 8 percent contrasting with the double-digit figures seen throughout the current economic cycle. Nonetheless, the growth rate remains positive; the trend likely indicates that shipping/logistics volume will be ahead of last year’s levels for the critical November and December months.
Regional Job Opportunities
In regional and local trends, Dallas employment was the October growth leader in major metropolitan markets. Meanwhile, the Chicago employment market and hiring in Los Angeles also charted momentum gains, lifted by architecture and engineering as well as healthcare recruitment trends.
Among the 50 states and the District, 36 registered positive annual growth rates in the October Index. Utah and Colorado replaced Iowa and Wyoming in the top five line up when ranking states by year-on-year growth.
Following suit with Dallas, Texas charted the greatest growth rate among large-population states, directly followed by California. West Virginia, Wyoming, Connecticut, and Montana registered annual declines in October, in contrast with positive growth trends in prior months.
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