Measured in terms of online job postings, the U.S. job market improved slightly in July. Here are two views of the number of job postings per day: note the slight uptick in July 2009 in both graphs.
The worst year-over-year decline occurred in April, the online job market subsequently shed less postings in May and June. Given that July was an improvement over May/June, one would hope that the stage is set for a sustained upward trend. But with 45% fewer job postings in Jul-09 compared to Jul-08, the U.S. online job market remains far from the levels seen in previous years.
Alternatively, it may take a long period before job postings return to 2008 levels. Instead of looking for green shoots, we may have to brace ourselves and adjust to the New Normal: a stretch of time when job postings remain significantly less than the 2006-2008 period.
There were fewer online job postings in every state, with losses ranging from 36-37% in VA, MD, OK, AK, to 55-58% in DE, WY, MN, WI. The two largest states (CA, TX) had 50% and 43% fewer job postings in 2009 compared to the same period in 2008: