Demand for HR professionals has plummeted to its second lowest level in a year, suggesting that last month’s rise for the sector was just a blip.
The March 2009 Monster Employment Index has fallen from 72 in February for HR professionals to 59 last month. This is just seven points away from January’s reading of 52, the lowest level recorded in the past 13 months.
The new level shows that the availability of HR jobs continues to decline – despite signs last month that the sector was improving.
In March last year the index – compiled from an analysis of millions of online job opportunities culled from corporate career sites and job boards – measured 198 for the HR sector.
Hugo Sellert, head of economic research at Monster Worldwide, said: “Overall, online recruitment in the UK has fallen once again.”
However, he pointed out there was cause for optimism in some sectors. He said: “Hiring of education and production workers rose in March and healthcare has shown encouraging annual growth.”
Year-on-year, the index fell by 41%, or 77 points. This is the fifth consecutive month the index yearly figures have fallen.
Demand fell for most occupational groups, with skilled agricultural workers, professionals, and craft and related workers hit the hardest.
The European index has a baseline of 100, which is the average level of online job availability measured during the first 12 months of data collection when the index began (November 2004 – October 2005).