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The latest monthly Monster Employment Index Europe published by job board Monster Worldwide Inc, reveals that online recruitment activity reached a seven-month high across Europe, as all regions monitored by the Monster Employment Index Europe reported solid monthly rises in online job opportunities. In addition, over the past three months the Index exhibited a mild 1% uptick, suggesting online worker demand is slowly creeping up.
However, the annual rate of contraction remained at the same pace as seen in January 2010, with opportunities down -12% compared to February 2009, suggesting businesses are waiting for further indicators that the economy is recovering before making significant hires.
Among industries, consumer-driven sectors such as hospitality and tourism and arts, entertainment sports and leisure reported increased job opportunities. Agriculture, fishing and forestry, a relatively small sector, noted the sharpest monthly and annual increase in online job demand.
Andrea Bertone, head of Monster Europe, commented "the uptick in online recruitment activity at the beginning of the year speaks to the anticipated degree of business improvement over the near term seen by firms across Europe.
"Comparatively speaking, online recruitment has improved the most in the UK, where opportunities are up from a monthly, quarterly and yearly perspective. These signs could be encouraging for other regions, and may spur increased online hiring across Europe."
Belgium: Online worker demand picked up in February, following a seasonal downturn in January. Upticks in online job availability were seen for the banking and production sectors, which had weakened throughout 2009, however year-on-year trends in both sectors remain fragile. Despite the monthly rise, the figures remained deflated compared to a yearearlier, suggesting there is some way to go before a significant turnaround will be seen.
France: The Monster Employment Index France halted its declining trend in February, with the first monthly uptick in four months. Online opportunities also increased from an annual perspective, with offerings up 4% year-on-year. Rising business and consumer confidence likely played a role in pushing job opportunities upward across a range of organisation sectors, including management, HR and administration.
Germany: With an uptick of three points the German Monster Employment Index rebounded in February after a seasonal decline in January. Year-on-year, the index is still down 20%. Nevertheless, the continued strong year-on-year growth in education, healthcare and public sector suggest that government-driven industries remain a strong driver of job creation in the German labour market. Among occupations, skilled agricultural workers noted the largest rise in offerings in February, while all occupational groups except agricultural noted declines from year-ago levels.
Italy: Italian employers stepped up their online recruitment efforts in February, with all regions and occupational groups registering increases in worker demand. Despite a monthly uptick, year-on-year, offerings remained deflated suggesting businesses are waiting for further signs of economic growth before embarking on a more widespread expansion in hiring activity.
Netherlands: Online worker demand rebounded slightly from the decline seen at the onset of 2010. Positive trends are beginning to emerge in consumer-driven sectors, including hospitality and tourism which noted a sharp monthly rise and the slowest rate of annual contraction. Professional services, such as engineering and legal, are also emulating these trends.
Sweden: Following the relatively mild seasonal slowdown in January, Swedenâ€™s economy is showing positive trends continuing to emerge in the early part of 2010. Online job demand expanded in most industry sectors on the month, with healthcare, social work and marketing leading recruitment activity. The easing in annual growth for education and healthcare was also notable.
UK: The Monster Employment Index UK rose by 12% in February, and improved 6% from a year ago, reflecting continued acceleration in its long-term growth trend to suggest a continued firming in underlying labour demand conditions. The overall level of online job availability in February was higher than any point since December 2008. In addition to the month-on-month growth registered by the IT sector, the production and transportation sectors displayed positive annual improvements, signalling an upswing in demand trends for manufacturing and commerce related workers and thereby lending some evidence that business activity is reviving. Sales and arts also showed positive online recruitment growth trends.
To read the full Monster Employment Index Europe please click here