Updating my post from early June, the U.S. online job market still hasn’t shown signs of recovering from steady declines that began in September of last year. Compared to the same period last year, there were 50% fewer job postings in June 2009.
An alternate view highlights the start of the downward trend, as well as the smaller than expected seasonal bounce from Dec-08 to Jan/Feb 2009. In a normal year, the number of postings decline in December (as employers table job searches for after the holidays) and recovers sharply the following Jan/Feb. While job postings did bounce back in Jan/Feb 2009, the seasonal bump was less than half of what occurred in previous years.
No geographic region has been exempt from the downturn in online job postings. There have been sharp declines in all states, ranging from -59% in DE, WY, and MN, to -38% in MD, OK, VA.
In closing, we still haven’t detected the green shoots that some forecasters have been crowing about over the last few months. If one were to take an optimistic perspective, the worse year-over-year decline occurred in April. OTOH, we are still staring at a 50% decline in June 2009. So while we may have hit the bottom in April, we need a few strong(er) months before we can comfortably announce the arrival of green shoots.