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Monster Employment Index UK Dips Slightly in September

Online job recruitment activity and related employment opportunities across the United Kingdom dipped in September, according to the Monster Employment Index UK, which despite edging downward remained near its highest level on record set in August. The Index dropped three points to 125 last month, driven by a drop in online job offers for workers across a number of industry sectors including education, training and library; hospitality and tourism; and sales.

Despite the slight dip in September, a number of sectors showed growth including healthcare, social work and personal care; and accounting, audit and taxes. Year-on-year growth of the Index now stands at 25 points, or 25 percent.

All UK regions showed reduced online recruitment activity of various degrees, with Wales and the South West exhibiting the strongest drop. Meanwhile, online offers in London and the South East remained relatively stable in September.

"The September findings of the Monster Employment Index UK show a minor dip in online hiring activity, although the Index is still demonstrating strong, broad demand for workers compared to last year. The Index has fluctuated near and around its highest level to date since June, which indicates a high level of online job availability in the UK, and also suggests that employers are confident about the economy", commented Alan Townsend, COO, Monster UK & Ireland."

Online job demand within the education, training and library sector dropped considerably in September, following solid growth during the summer months. Offers within the sector were lowest in the South West and all the other regions showed various degrees of decline. Interestingly, a similar trend was observed in September the previous year. Year-on-year demand for workers in education, training and library has dropped 20 points.

Online offers within the hospitality and tourism sector declined 11 points in September, following three consecutive months of growth. Again, the decline last month was significant, but mirrored a similar drop in September of 2005 and was mainly due to fewer online opportunities for service workers across all the regions, except Scotland and East Anglia. Year-on-year growth in demand for hospitality and tourism workers is 15 points.

Opportunities for workers within healthcare, social work, and personal care, increased 13 points, pushing the category to its highest level since the inception of the Index. Demand was strong in all the regions except in the North of England and London, with Wales showing the strongest growth rate. Year-on-year growth for healthcare, social work and personal care workers now stands at 30 points.

The accounting, audit and taxes sector also saw a marked increase in online hiring activity in September, rising six points due to higher demand for professionals, which offset reduced demand for legislators and technicians within the sector. Overall, online job demand for accounting, audit and taxes workers has increased 21 points year-over-year.

"The Index findings show a mixed picture across industry sectors in September marking the end of the summer holiday season, causing employers in the travel and lodging industry to reduce their overall staffing levels", said Townsend. "On the other hand, the Index has shown a massive growth in the availability of jobs for healthcare, social work and personal care workers, despite recent debate about a financial crisis in the NHS. So, whilst there has been a strong decline in certain areas, the majority of sectors demonstrated stable levels of recruitment activity in September".

During September, the Index showed a significant 35-point drop in online job demand within the elementary occupational category, mostly driven by fewer offers in the sales and construction sectors. Year-on-year demand for workers in this category now stands at eight points.

Online job availability for craft and related workers fell 22 points, due to lower online job availability within the production and manufacturing sectors. Year-over-year growth for the craft workers category is now 37 points.

At the same time, demand for workers in the service, shop and market sales occupational category dipped 10 points, after showing three months of consecutive growth. The decline in offers was most noticeable for hospitality and tourism workers, although transport, post and logistics workers had experienced the greatest number of positions within the category for the second month running. Yearly growth within the service, shop and market sales workers category was 12 points.

"It's interesting to see that demand in the craft and related workers category declined significantly in September. However, recent statistics from the Chamber of British Commerce (CBI) point to 'considerable' export demand for capital goods such as planes, ships and machinery in September. So, it may be some months before we see the impact of increased demand in online job offers", noted Townsend.

September, online job availability in Wales declined 13 points, mostly due to reduced recruitment activity for production, sales, IT and engineering occupations. Despite the drop last month, online recruitment activity in Wales has risen 56 points year over year the strongest growth among all regions.

The South West also showed a marked drop in online job demand, falling eight points mainly due to fewer opportunities for marketing, production and hospitality and tourism sector workers. Interestingly, demand for IT workers was highest in the South West. Year-on-year growth in the region now stands at 42 points.

Meanwhile, opportunities in London and the South East remained relatively static. In London, the Index dipped one point, impacted by fewer positions in the public sector, production, and hospitality and tourism industries. In the South East, the Index held steady from August, as fewer offers for engineering, hospitality and tourism, and production workers was offset by higher demand for healthcare and accounting staff. Year-on-year growth within these regions is 17 points for London and six points for the South East.

"Wales has shown some dramatic trends in job demand over the past nine months. Online job activity in the region has sky-rocketed, as businesses have moved into the area to take advantage of the highly skilled workforce, and lower start-up and operational costs. However, at the same time, a number of companies have recently announced closures. Despite this, the outlook for Wales remains extremely positive", concluded Townsend.

The Monster Employment Index Europe dipped in September, edging down two points to a level of 124, as slightly reduced online recruitment activity in Germany and the UK offset solid gains in France and the Netherlands, and a significant surge in Sweden. Year-on-year growth in online job availability across Europe according to the Index now stands at 17 points or 16 percent.

Following rises across all five countries in August, the Index showed a general decrease across several key economic sectors last month. The education, training and library sector registered the sharpest rate of decline, falling 12 points, while the production, manufacturing, maintenance and repair; IT; and sales sectors also registered fewer job postings. A drop in the transport, post and logistics sector was largely due to a decline in the German market, following a recent boom.

In September, most occupational categories registered declines in online recruitment activity, with a sharp drop reported for service, shop and market sales workers. The only category that showed increased opportunities was skilled agricultural workers, with France exhibiting the strongest monthly rate of growth.



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