Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Employment Turnaround? Indeed!

Indeed just published some interesting employment trends for February, showing some encouraging news.

As the winter of our discontent is ending, Indeed's recent employment trends show that the recession may be easing. I don't know that I'd justify buying a new Porsche based on this report, but it's a step in the right direction.

What does this bright ray of sunshine tell us?

Read more ...

Indeed measured year over year growth by industries, and they've reported two good months of growth in a row. While it's interesting news, let's hold on to our champagne corks, because we're comparing to the first quarter of 2009 - no surprise that hiring is better now than it was a year ago.

What's interesting about this study is that it breaks out growth in advertised positions by industries. I was surprised by what jobs are growing, as well as what isn't.

So not only is hiring up, but Indeed's statistics show that it's way up. Keep in mind that Indeed tracks job ads. Job ads can be a proxy for actual jobs, but actual hires lag job ads by a few months. So Indeed's study really says that they are seeing early warning signs of increased hiring, because more companies are buying ads - it's somewhat of a leading indicator. Sure, there are some spoof ads included, but the effect of spoofs pretty much cancels out, since Indeed compares year-over-year.

Indeed showed improvement in 10 out of the 12 industries it tracks, compared to February 2009. The fastest growth industries are Hospitality (up 44%), Retail (up 35%), and Real Estate (up 33%). The hospitality and retail weren't much of a surprise if you've followed my weekly Who's Hiring column (published most Mondays), because you've seen that Pizza Hut/Yum Brands have been advertising for positions like crazy - to a lesser extent, so have family and value restaurant chains, like Friendly's, Cracker Barrel, and Boston Market, as well as McDonald's on the fast food end of things. Hotel chains Hilton and Marriott have been consistent fixtures in the top 40 hiring companies in February.

Retail hiring didn't back off much after Christmas. Sears, Kmart, JCPenny's, RadioShack, Blockbusters, Toys "R" Us, Walmart, Jos. A. Banks, and Ann Taylor all made the top 40 hiring firms, months after Christmas. Gas station chains Martin USA and Pilot have also consistently made the list - these are retailers also.

Real estate is a little surprising to me, but compared to the 1 advertisement nationally for real estate agents in February 2009, the percentage growth is probably high. Real estate was deadder than dead this time last year, so any improvement looks big on a percentage basis. Century 21 isn't making the top 40 list very often, but it has consistently just missed the cut, typically coming in closer to 45.

Here's the shocker ... Health care. It's down 1%. I guess health care might have been just about the only industry hiring in February 2009, so it's less now compared to last year. In addition, Health care has been consistently hiring over the past year, so it's not surprising to see fewer spikes. Indeed revealed some really information about health care, stating that the industry has the lowest number of clicks per job post - so competition is low for health care jobs compared to other industries. Construction is also down 5%, but that's no surprise.

Financial Services/Banking has reached positive growth, also not a surprise given the number of banking companies who have consistently made the top 40 Who's Hiring list in 2010. Accounting also crossed into positive growth, joining Education, IT, Manufacturing, Media/Newspaper, and Transportation.

Here's the list:

February 2010 Industry Trends Report
IndustryJob Postings Annual Change
Accounting124,637 10%
Financial Services and Banking206,04213%
Information Technology257,3926%
Manufacturing80,992 13%
Media and Newspaper33,083 18%
Real Estate30,48133%

Do any of these numbers surprise you? Do they support what you've seen in the job market? Readers please comment below.

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