HR job opportunities fell sharply in September, ending a three-month steady increase in the number of vacancies advertised online.
The September 2009 Monster Employment Index, a survey of jobs advertised online, found the number of HR jobs dropped from 64 points in August to 59 in September – representing an 8% decrease in job availability.
Hugo Sellert, head of economic research at Monster Worldwide, told Personnel Today the drop was a “correction” caused by negative news about the state of the economy and seasonal hiring cycles.
He said: “[The drop] illustrates that the recovery really hasn’t taken off yet. There was some optimism building at the beginning of the third quarter, but as we have been hit by more bad economic news, the recovery might not be as swift as expected.
“Most employers have responded by putting off employment and the drop in HR vacancies represents that.”
He added a seasonal hiring lull was commonly felt between the back-to-work hiring cycle and the pre-holiday seasonal hiring cycle leading to Christmas.
Sellert predicted HR would see a rise again in jobs being advertised in the fourth quarter. The advertising of HR vacancies fell by 55% year-on-year in September.
But other professions, including clerical support roles and sales positions, saw an increase in demand – with the number of jobs being advertised rising by 7% and 1% respectively.
Sellert said these increases demonstrated that some companies were strategically preparing themselves for the upturn.
Meanwhile, the number of public sector jobs being advertised online dropped by 10% to a 14-month low as fear over public spending cuts hit the jobs market.
Overall, the Monster Employment Index dropped by 2% in September as online job availability declined for the second consecutive month. Year-on-year, the September Index was down 33%.