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August 2012: Employment Rebounds, Nears Year-High

August 2012 JobSerf Report By CareerCast.com/JobSerf

August might be the dog days of summer, but the month's jobs reports hardly lagged. Managerial employment activity online rebounded substantially from a sluggish July, reaching the second highest peak since January 2008, according to the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index. The nearly 10% gain was second only to February for the largest in 2012, and surpassed any monthly increases made in all of 2011.

August gains have been noteworthy each of the past two years. The 8.8% increase a year ago was the most significant of 2011. And yet, the 2012 pace is a considerable six points higher than this time last year.

After August 2011's measurable leap, September took a 5-point dip. In fact, September employment figures have dropped each year since 2008. But with a presidential election looming in November, JobSerf COO Jay Martin says to expect the unexpected for the remainder of 2012.

"Election cycles provide uncertainty for the hiring market, and this is may become apparent in September and continue possibly through year end," says Martin.

Volatility on the employment front overtook the 2008 campaign, particularly in September. The 18% drop that month was the largest, single month slide the job market has taken in the last five years, coinciding with historic drops in the stock market and the bankruptcy of such financial titans as Lehman Bros. Sen. John McCain went so far as to briefly suspend his campaign and famously skip an appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

In contrast to 2008's steady slide, 2012 hiring has crept back above pre-recession standards. "The nation has flirted with an improved hiring market repeatedly this year, and each time we take two steps forward, we seem to then take a step back," says Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com. "Hopefully, we're moving to a new level of activity that will sustain for a while."

So, how do we determine these numbers?

The CareerCast.com/JobSerf Employment Index calculates the number of available managerial job openings each month by surveying wide range of local and national job boards across the U.S, with all results hand-counted and checked for duplication by a team of researchers. What does an overall Index score of 113.6 for August 2012 mean? The Index measures employment activity against a base score of 100, which represents the volume of job openings during the same period in 2008. A score higher than 100 means that there are more available jobs than in 2008, while one below 100 means that job seekers now have fewer opportunities available. Over the past 55 months, the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Index is higher at 113.6 than in August of 2008.

Index Month Index Score Monthly Change
August 2012 113.6 +11.1
July 2012 102.5 -1.2
June 2012 103.7 +6.2
May 2012 97.5 -3.8
April 2012 101.3 -15.3
March 2012 116.9 +9.9
February 2012 107.0 +12.0
January 2012 95.0 -0.1
December 2011 95.1 -8.4
November 2011 103.5 -0.9
October 2011 104.4 +1.8
September 2011 102.6 -5.0
August 2011 107.6 +9.4
July 2011 98.2 -2.1
June 2011 100.3 -0.2
May 2011 100.5 -10.1
April 2011 110.6 +1.1
March 2011 109.5 +5.2
February 2011 104.3 +0.6
January 2011 103.7 +3.8
December 2010 99.9 -6.0
November 2010 105.9 +6.4
October 2010 99.5 -0.1
September 2010 99.6 -2.7
August 2010 102.3 -4.6
July 2010 106.9 +14.3
June 2010 92.6 +3.6
May 2010 89.0 -3.3
April 2010 92.3 +1.9
March 2010 90.4 +7.1
February 2010 83.3 +12.5
January 2010 70.8 -3.1
December 2009 73.9 +0.2
November 2009 73.7 +5.9
October 2009 67.8 -0.6
September 2009 68.4 -11.4
August 2009 79.8 +1.6
July 2009 78.2 +17.8
June 2009 60.4 +3.8
May 2009 56.6 +15.2
April 2009 41.4 -2.7
March 2009 44.1 -5.4
February 2009 49.5 -12.2
January 2009 61.7 -4.5
December 2008 66.2 -10.9
November 2008 77.1 +3.7
October 2008 73.4 -14.3
September 2008 87.7 -18.0
August 2008 105.7 +5.4
July 2008 100.3 -2.3
June 2008 102.6 +6.8
May 2008 95.8 +1.6
April 2008 94.2 -15.1
March 2008 109.3 +0.3
February 2008 109.0 +8.7
January 2008 100.3 +/-0

 

Big gains in Hartford and Boston carried the Northeast in August. Read on and learn how each region of the U.S. fared.



Reprinted by permission from CareerCast.com, Adicio Inc. All rights reserved. To see other articles about job hunting and career management, please visit http://www.CareerCast.com.