(Lack Of) Growth In Online Job Ads Ominous
More job ads were posted online this February than last, and if the stats stopped there, we’d say they made for good news. The amount of growth only equaled three percent, however, which isn’t at all encouraging.
"The softening in advertised vacancies is widespread," stated Gad Levanon, an economist at The Conference Board. "For the past three months, 75 percent of states had an average annual growth rate slower than the previous year. These data, along with the drop in the Consumer Confidence Index from 112 in July 2007 to 75 in February 2008, suggest that the slow pace of labor demand observed during the last half of 2007 may even slow further in the upcoming months."
Levanon then mentioned, "If there is a bright spot, the monthly increase in February from the January level was in line with the seasonal correction expected after the holiday season."
Also, we’ll point out that a slowdown in online job postings doesn’t necessarily equal fewer open positions; David Utter has written about how employers are turning to other methods of looking for people.
Still, The Conference Board’s report isn’t something that can be brushed off. A number of stories concerning layoffs are making the rounds, and rumors about hiring binges are practically nonexistent.