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The latest Monster Employment Index Europe published by online employment solutions provider Monster Worldwide Inc, reveals that online recruitment activity noted a mild uptick in March, returning to a level not seen since May 2009.
The Monster Employment Index Europe's longer term trends also suggest there has been a modest improvement in online recruitment activity. The Index increased 4% during the first quarter of 2010 and the annual rate of contraction slowed from the rate seen in February. Whilst offerings were down 7% year-on-year, this was the most modest rate of decline seen since before the economic crisis.
Among industries, automotive noted the largest monthly increase whilst consumer driven sectors, including hospitality and tourism also saw opportunities increase. Elevated business confidence also led to increased investment and job demand in areas including marketing, PR and media and IT.
Andrea Bertone, head of Monster Europe, commented "the ongoing rise in online recruitment activity throughout the first quarter of the year coincides with other positive economic indicator shifts, as in business and consumer confidence, to reflect further departure from the recessionary conditions of the recent past."
"Whilst there is some way to go until job availability returns to the high levels seen in the summer of 2008, many regions are showing slight signs of stabilisation. The UK saw opportunities jump year-on-year, whilst Sweden exhibited the strongest growth over the past quarter."
UK: In addition to rising on a quarterly basis, the Monster Employment Index UK rose by 15% from March 2009, reflecting firming labour demand conditions. From a job availability viewpoint, conditions in March were more favourable than in any month since December 2008. Following the growth of Marketing, PR and media, financial service sectors such as Banking, finance, insurance; and Accounting, audit, taxes also registered notable increases in online demand over the past two months.
Belgium: Online recruitment activity noted a substantial increase in March 2010, leaving the Index at its highest level since September 2009. Upticks were seen in engineering and construction, which suggests growth in investment. Rises in the transportation and production sectors suggest the trend of rising Belgian exports of goods and services seen in the last quarter of 2009 is continuing into 2010.
France: Following recent reports that the French economic recovery was beginning to slow, online worker demand also remained stable, suggesting organisations were waiting for further signs of significant economic recovery before embarking on a large scale hiring effort. However, positive trends are beginning to emerge, with education, training and library showing an increase on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Whilst the Index's annual growth remained up, the rate of increase actually slowed compared to February 2010.
Germany: There were signs in March that Germany's economic recovery is back on track. While the continued rise in the level of online job opportunities is one such indicator, while consumer and business sentiment indicators also rose. March saw renewed hiring in professional service sectors, suggesting businesses are ramping up activity. Meanwhile, steady recoveries in key sectors like production and logistics underpinned the overall recovery.
Italy: Italian employers continued to increase their online recruitment activity as online job offerings continued on an ascent from early-year lows. Despite the monthly uptick, offerings remained down on a yearly basis, suggesting there was still some hesitation in the Italian economic recovery and businesses are waiting until there are further signs of economic stabilisation. The production and engineering sectors reported substantial gains online opportunities in March, coinciding with rises in economic indicators such as industrial production, which climbed at the beginning of 2010.
Netherlands: Online worker demand continued to rebound slightly from the sharp decline seen in January 2010, however online job offerings remained well below year-earlier levels. During late 2009, the Index was fuelled by private sector hiring in areas including education and healthcare, however during the first quarter of 2010 there has been a shift to private sector hiring. The majority of growth in March's Index was in areas such as sales and hospitality and tourism, whilst public sector hiring began to slow.
Sweden: Following a surge in online job demand in February, online recruitment activity continued to increase in March, coinciding with ongoing improvement in Sweden's economy and increased business confidence and domestic consumption during the first quarter of the year. As business confidence has increased, there appears to have been increased investment in the technology sector which fuelled job demand in areas including research and development, IT and engineering.
To read the full Monster Employment Index Europe please click here