February HR vacancies show first rise since last summer

HR job vacancies rose for the first time in seven months in February, latest statistics have revealed.

The February 2009 Monster Employment Index – a monthly analysis of millions of online job opportunities culled from corporate career sites and job boards – showed that the number of HR jobs advertised had increased to 72 points, up from 52 points in January.

While this figure was still well below the 233 reading in February 2008, the HR sector had seen one of the best improvements.

Hugo Sellert, head of economic research at Monster Worldwide, said: “Opportunities in the HR sector also increased notably in February, reversing a seven-month downturn.

“This rise was driven by higher demand among professionals.”

However, he added: Longer-term recruitment trends remain down as the shaky economy and uncertain outlook for 2009 continue to prompt businesses to exercise caution when it comes to new payroll commitments. Nonetheless, there are pockets of opportunity.”

Year-on-year, the index fell by 39%, or 75 points – the steepest annual decline on record.

There was some improvement last month as the index rose six points from January’s level to 117 in February, aided by growth in job opportunities in education, training, and management.

Demand for skilled craftsmen and agricultural workers also jumped by more than 15 points.

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