Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey: Q2

Despite less-than-rosy economic headlines, the bottom has not yet dropped out of the employment market. Three new job surveys reveal that companies are still hiring, albeit at a more cautious rate.

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey

"A slowing in hiring intentions reflects a widespread wait-and-see approach among employers," according to a spokesperson with Manpower, a global employment agency.

The company surveys 14,000 U.S. employers on a quarterly basis. This quarter's survey reveals the weakest employment outlook outlook since the first quarter of 2004. That said, fully 26% of employers expect to increase their workforces during the second quarter of 2008, while only 9% expect staff reductions.

While employers anticipate a decline in hiring for the second quarter of 2008, the survey data points to "a gradual and measured downshift, not a sudden and overwhelming change."

Monster Employment Index

The Monster Employment Index for February reveals a moderate increase in overall U.S. online job availability following a three-month downward trend. "It's an encouraging sign of stabilization after three consecutive months of decline," according to a Monster.com spokesperson. A local Boston Index (pdf) is also available.

The upward tick in online employment postings confirms Boston Market -- March 2008 findings.

Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series

The Conference Board measures online job ad placement across the United States. February 2008 showed a three percent increase over February 2007. While the growth is positive it represents the smallest annual growth rate since this series began in May 2005.

The New England Region, in particular, posted a decline in annual labor demand for the fifth month in a row. None-the-less, the metro areas across the nation where the number of advertised vacancies are plentiful in relation to the number of unemployed include Boston.

Also, "technical occupations continue to be in high demand in February," according to a summary of the Help-Wanted Online Date Series. A more detailed analysis is also available in pdf format.

Next Steps . . .

With three employment surveys revealing sluggish job growth, now might be time to increase your network of professional contacts. You never know when you might need employment help and you can always lend a helping hand to someone else who might be looking for an opportunity.

Here are two Web-related networking opportunities in the Boston area to consider:

You'll walk away from either event with new knowledge and new contacts. Even better, both events are FREE!

NOTE: If you live in the Washington, DC area check out a new Web Development certificate program being announced this Saturday at the campus of the Center for Digital Imaging Arts (CDIA) at Boston University.

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