Last Friday, the Department of Labor issued its monthly jobs report for October and reported that the U.S. economy lost another 190,000 jobs in October (a number that will certainly be revised up or down in future months). October’s losses represent the 22nd straight month of monthly job losses, and unemployment rose from 9.8% to 10.2%, the highest level since 1983. Accounting for people who have given up looking for work or who want full-time work but have settled for part-time work, the unemployment rate is 17.5%. The total number of jobs lost since the Great Recession began in December of 2007 now totals 7.3 million.
There were, however, some mildly positive signs in October’s Department of Labor numbers. Hourly wages increased during the month, the number of hours worked in manufacturing rose, and temp/staffing hiring is rising. As well, the job losses in September and August were revised to show fewer job losses than initially reported. All of these statistics demonstrate that there are slight hints that the job market has bottomed out and that while recovery will likely remain anemic for months to come, we may have seen the worst. (Lest anyone get too excited, however, unemployment will likely rise for most of 2010 as monthly job losses will not only have to turn positive, they will have to turn positive to such a degree that monthly job gains actually outpace new entrants into the job market).
In any event, LinkUp’s October jobs report showed that the U.S. jobs market is improving ever so slightly. New job listings on LinkUp rose by 4% during the month and total job listings were flat from September. On a state by state basis, 33 of 50 states reported a decrease in new job listings (34 of 51 counting Washington, D.C.) and, on a slightly more positive note, 27 states showed a decrease in total job listings.
In terms of the best and worst performing states, Illinois, North Carolina, and Connecticut reported the largest increases in new and total jobs, while Massachusetts, Ohio, and West Virginia experienced the largest declines in the actual number of new and total job listings.
LinkUp, the fastest growing job search engine on the web according to recent ComScore data, only indexes job listings that are found on company websites. The October jobs report was based on a comparison between September and October job listings from 16,967 corporate websites around the U.S. As a result of this unique data source, LinkUp’s job listing data includes no duplicate job listings, no classifieds from recruiters or headhunters, and no phishing or scam ads. Even more importantly, the jobs data is based on actual job openings that companies list on their own company website rather than the openings that companies are advertising for on other job boards or in newspapers.