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The Monster Employment Index Europe for January 2010, published today by job portal Monster Worldwide Inc, reveals that online recruitment activity in Europe slipped by a seasonally-mild 7% between December 2009 and January 2010. More notably, the long-term trend continues to improve; the annual rate of contraction shrunk in each successive month since September 2009.
Opportunities were down 12% compared to January 2009. Together, these signs point to subtly improving conditions in 2010.
Among industry sectors, marketing, PR and media exhibited notable stability in online demand in January and also increased from an annual perspective.
Andrea Bertone, head of Monster Europe, said "January has traditionally been a slow month for online recruitment activity. That the most recent decline in the Index was mild by seasonal standards does not come as much of a surprise, given that Europe's largest economies have emerged out of recession and appear to be gearing towards recovery."
"But there is still a long way to go before we return to pre-recession levels of hiring activity. Long-term recruitment trends have turned positive in consumer-driven sectors like sales, but have yet to branch out into other areas of the economy."
As the major countries in Europe began to emerge out of recession at the end of 2009 and early 2010, long-term job demand trends in nearly all sectors continued to dip however not as sharply as previously seen, reflecting an upswing in business and consumer activity.
Hospitality and tourism dipped the most among industry sectors on the month, falling 18 points (11%). Compared to year-earlier figures however, the sector saw a modest decline of just four points (3%).
Education, training and library noted a sharp 19 point (10%) fall in January. From an annual perspective however, the sector noted a four points (2%) uptick.
Marketing, PR and media opportunities remained flat compared to December 2009, leaving the sector at a nine-month high. From a long-term view, the sector returned to positive growth, with demand up 2% year-on-year.
Online worker demand in automotive was also unchanged between December and January as the industry continued to be supported by publicly funded stimulus packages. Offerings were down only 1% over the past three months.
Sectors fuelled by consumer spending noted a positive shift to year-on-year gains during January as consumer confidence in the continent began to edge up. Sales registered a 1% annual gain, whilst arts, entertainment, sports and leisure grew 8% over the past 12 months.
Plant and machine operators, and assemblers noted the steepest decline in January with a six point (9%) slump in online job demand in January.
Managers dipped seven points (7%) in January, in contrast to the dramatic plunge seasonally-expected at this time of the year. The group's annual growth trend has improved steadily over the past six months, and was down by only 8% compared to January 2009.
Online worker demand held up the best for clerical support workers and elementary occupations; both groups reported a modest seven point (6%) decline on the month.
From an annual perspective, skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers saw the most solid rise of all occupational groups; online job demand increased 26 points (28%). Service and sales workers followed closely behind; opportunities jumped 34 points (27%) compared to January 2009.
To read the full Monster Employment Index Europe including details on individual countries please click here