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Further fall in online recruitment in the UK in December

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The Monster Employment Index UK decreased by 11 points in December to reach a level of 141. Online job demand is now at its lowest level since May 2007. Year-on-year, the Index was down 33 points, or 19%, compared to a 10% annual decrease in the previous month, indicating a dramatic slowdown in recruiting at the end of 2008. Demand fell most in the healthcare, social work; and HR sectors. The banking, finance, insurance sector also saw a marked annual decrease in job availability. In contrast, there was a surge in demand for education, training and library workers for the third straight month. Moderate growth was seen in the legal; and R&D sectors.   

The Monster Employment Index Europe is a monthly analysis of millions of online job opportunities culled from a large, representative selection of corporate career sites and job boards across the UK, including


“The sharp decline in online job demand in the final months of 2008 confirms that the UK labour market has fallen into recession,” commented Hugo Sellert, Head of Economic Research, Monster Worldwide. “In addition, the plummet in demand for HR professionals signals that companies are likely to scale back further on hiring well into next year. The jobs market is unlikely to improve before businesses regain confidence in the struggling economy. Education is one of the few bright areas, with schools and colleges significantly stepping up recruiting efforts to secure staff for 2009.”

Online hiring in the healthcare, social work sector decreased by 51 points in December, offsetting two months of strong growth. Offerings dipped the most for professionals. Opportunities for technicians and associate professionals also registered a modest decline. Regionally, Wales registered the steepest fall in demand. Only Northern Ireland saw an upturn in hiring. Year-on-year, demand was up 87 points, or 49%, the strongest among industry sectors. 

There was also a notable decrease in online job vacancies in the HR sector for the sixth month in a row. This drop was driven by significantly reduced opportunities for professionals. Hiring declined across all tracked regions, with Northern Ireland showing the steepest fall. Demand in the Midlands and the South East fell for the seventh consecutive month. Year-on-year, demand dipped 127 points, or 63%, the sharpest among industry sectors.


Hiring of marketing, PR and media workers also dropped sharply in December. Online recruitment activity fell across all regions, with South East and London reporting the sharpest declines. Year-on-year, demand was down 58 points, or 26%.


In contrast, there was a surge in online job availability for education, training and library workers as the sector registered a solid increase for the third consecutive month. This growth was led by improved demand for professionals. Regionally, South East saw the strongest increase, while offerings in the Midlands and North England rose for the fourth month in a row. Year-on-year, the category was down 64 points, or 33%.


Online job availability for craft and related workers fell for the second consecutive month, mainly due to a drop in hiring in the production, manufacturing, maintenance, repair sector. Opportunities in construction and extraction also fell. Offerings dropped across all regions, with Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland registering the sharpest declines. Year-on-year, the category was down 121 points, or 41%, the sharpest among occupational groups.   

There was also a significant dip in hiring of professionals for the second month in a row, driven by a decline in demand in the telecommunications; management and consulting; banking, finance, insurance; and arts, entertainment, sports, leisure sectors. Offerings in the construction and extraction; and HR sectors fell for the fifth month in a row. Hiring dropped in all regions, with London and Wales hit hardest. Year-on-year, the category was down 33 points, or 18%.



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