This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

January 2, 2008

Job Boards' Successes Herald the Future

The activity of job boards is a predictor of the future of the economy. The number of jobs posted is a forward leading indicator of near-term economic growth. "Our level of job postings is at an all-time high," said Ted Daywalt President and CEO of VetJobs.com, the leading job board for veterans and their families in the United States.

Job boards are involved with organizations just after the decision to add employees. They are the main medium by which employers now advertise for new and replacement workers.

Daywalt details that in 2002, VetJobs barely had 2,000 jobs posted per day. Now the average is 24,000 active jobs per day and he sees his numbers rising. He expects the number of daily active postings to grow to 30,000 later in 2008.

VetJobs' increase mirrors the marketplace as a whole; recently, the Conference Board reported that the number of jobs advertised online in 2007 grew by 9.7 percent over 2006.

Though there are no statistics to separate new from replacement postings, VetJobs' level of increase indicates expansion. Since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that voluntary employee turnover has remained constant over the last quarter, we can safely assume that most of the increases are attributable to new job creation.

The increase in job postings reflects the level of corporate confidence. That's why we at The Herman Group feel comfortable in forecasting a slowdown, rather than a recession in the U.S. economy for 2008.

For the last five years, the time between Christmas and New Years for job boards was "totally dead". This year, VetJobs signed on a number of major corporations and their mid-size clients called because they need to hire people "right away".

A few of the hottest job categories: information technology, engineering, water management, computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining, healthcare, and service industries.

"Many companies would like to expand, but are holding off because they can't find the skilled people they need", reports Daywalt. Employers must support local workforce development efforts, if they want to have the skilled workers that they will need to stay in business.


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