The number of HR job vacancies has dropped to the second lowest level in more than a year, despite signs that the recession may be slowing.
The April 2009 Monster Employment Index fell from 59 in March for HR professionals to 56 last month. This was the second worst reading after January’s figure of 52, the lowest level recorded in the past 14 months.
In April last year the index – compiled from an analysis of millions of online job opportunities culled from corporate career sites and job boards – measured 175 for the HR sector.
The figures come as the latest unemployment figures, out tomorrow, are expected to confirm another 85,000 people out of work, bringing the jobless total nearer to 2.2m.
Hugo Sellert, head of economic research at Monster Worldwide, said: “Opportunities for HR workers fell as demand eased for the ninth time in 10 months, which suggests that companies across Britain are still scaling back on human resources.”
However, Sellert said the downturn seemed to be easing for most sectors. “The pace of deterioration seems to be stabilizing in the UK and Europe.
“While current levels of worker demand are not sufficient to prevent further rises in unemployment, there are signs that businesses are becoming slightly more confident in the economy.”
The UK index for all sectors rose two points to 112 in April from March, although it was 37% lower year-on-year.
Demand in healthcare, social work, and education grew strongly in April, rising by about 10% since March.
The Monster Employment Index uses a baseline of 100 – drawn from December 2004 – as the basis for comparing online recruitment trends.