Job Demand Sluggish in September

October 19, 2006 ( - Online job demand slowed in September, with job availability showing increases in less than half of the top 28 US job markets, according to recent employment index figures.

According to the Monster Local Employment Index, online recruitment activity declined in 10 of the metropolitan markets, and seven of the markets held on to gains achieved in the previous month. The slow down follows a strong demand in August propelled by a seasonal back-to-school rush (See Monster Index Rebounds Eight Points in August ).

Military-related occupations, which were in higher demand throughout all 28 metro areas last month, and protective service occupations, which saw increased online opportunities in a majority of the markets tracked, were the occupations that saw the greatest demand in September.

The most pronounced gain occurred in the Los Angeles area, where the demand inched up only three points from 101 to 104. However, that same area ranks among the bottom-performing index markets on a year-to-year basis, mostly because of a slumping housing market and declining retail market.

Other markets that posted gains for the month were Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas and Indianapolis. Houston, which rose two points last month, remained the fastest growing online recruitment market over the past year, catering to the higher demand for both white- and blue-collar workers, especially in the areas of construction/extraction, transportation, production and technology.

Kansas City follows Houston as the strongest performer on a year-to-year basis, jumping from 99 in 2005 to 113 in September 2006, with demand driven mostly by increased online recruitment activity in the government sector and for computer and mathematical (IT, biotech) occupations.