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The Monster Worldwide Inc. employment index fell four points in December to a reading of 115 from November's reading of 119 amid a seasonal decline in online recruitment activity. On a year-over-year basis, the index is down 12% -- the mildest rate of annual decline in 18 months.
"The decline in the index during December is typical due to end-of-year seasonality. However, the improvement in the annual rate of decline lends evidence to a slight firming in underlying employer demand for workers at the end of the year," said Jesse Harriott, senior VP and chief knowledge officer at Monster. "Despite a challenging economic climate, hiring conditions seem to continue to stabilize, if not already slowly improving."
Monster's index is based on a review of online job ads taken from a selection of Web sites, including Monster.