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The latest monthly Employment Index for Europe published today by job board Monster Worldwide Inc, continued its positive long-term growth pace,
with February's year-on-year gain of +24% nearly on par with January's +25% rate, the most rapid pace seen during the current economic cycle.
Production, manufacturing, maintenance, repair continued to lead all sectors in the Index by measure of annual growth, registering 57%. Escalated recruitment for this sector has been most apparent in Germany, with additional growth charted in smaller markets, including countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe. Transport, post and logistics also exhibited strong growth trends.
Arts, entertainment, sports, leisure was the only sector to register a significant annual decline in the Index. This mirrors trends seen last month in the public sector, where recent government cuts are impacting recruitment activity across the continent. While the public sector noted a small increase in activity on the month in February, it is still well below levels usually seen at this time of year.
Alan Townsend, Vice-President of Business Operations at Monster Europe, commented "we're continuing to see a positive trend in online recruitment activity in the long-term, with the rate of growth in industrial activity remaining a key driver of this, especially in Germany."
"While the continued cuts in government spending across public sectors are having an impact on recruitment levels in these sectors, the various indicators of growth within the private sector continue to show positive momentum."
Belgium: Continued improvement in long-term growth trends, with a +20% rise on the year and matched a 12-month high in monthly growth with a rise of +12 points (+12%) from January 2011.
This recent momentum brings Belgian trends more in line with European averages, following a period of more tempered growth. The Monster Employment Index Europe is growing at +24% on the year.
France: Online job demand rebounded by +12 points (+10%) in February as employers resumed more active recruitment activity following the typically muted month of January. Annual growth was reported at +19%, which continues a solid long-term trend for the French online recruitment market.
Technical sectors, such as IT and R&D, have maintained some of the strongest long-term growth trends in the Index, whilst occupationally, professionals have seen an improvement in long-term growth, driven by solid demand from technical and financial-related sectors. By contrast, craft and related trades workers experienced a flattening in long-term trend.
Germany: Germany remains among the top trending European countries by measure of long-term growth in the Index with the consumer-driven sectors in particular exhibiting generally strong growth trends. The business/organisational support segment exhibited mixed trends.
While the administrative and organisational sector registered expanded online recruitment activity in February, and is up +72% on the year, HR has noted relatively smaller gains and online demand continues at levels below baseline in the Index.
Italy: Italy dipped by -1 point (-1%) between January and February, as online recruitment activity continued to be tempered following the uncharacteristic rise at the conclusion of 2010. The pace of annual growth, at +13%, represents the most moderate year-on-year growth rate seen in the past six months.
The Netherlands: The Netherlands generally maintained its long-term growth pace, with annual gains of +6%, reflecting steady upward momentum as the current economic cycle progresses. The agricultural sector led the Index in monthly gains, with growth on-par with seasonal recruitment patterns usually seen at this time of year ahead of the spring months.
Sweden: Sweden rebounded +20 points (+14%) on the month in February, as employers broadly resumed online hiring activity following a seasonally muted start to the year. This degree of monthly rise aligns with seasonal patterns historically seen in the Index during the January- February period.
UK: The UK saw a +9% increase in online job demand from January to February 2011 and exhibited +12% growth annually.
The Index is at its highest level since December 2008, which suggests a degree of improvement in the economy since pre-recessionary levels.
N.B: The Index was launched in June 2005 with data from December 2004. It is based on a monthly analysis of millions of online job opportunities culled from a large, representative selection of corporate career sites and job boards across Europe, including Monster.
To read the full Monster Employment Index Europe please click here