With a 57% jump in new job listings in January and a 23% jump in total job listings in LinkUp’s job search engine last month, we are forecasting that the U.S. economy added 260,000 jobs in February. While our forecast is above the consensus estimate of job growth of 210,000 in February, we remain confident that tomorrow’s BLS report will surprise to the upside. In part, our forecast is based on the assumption that the Department of Labor has overestimated job growth for at least the past 3 months, and that tomorrow’s report will revise downward the numbers for December and January. If job growth in those months is not revised down, it is likely that tomorrow’s numbers will come in even higher than 260,000.
Unfortunately, LinkUp’s data for February indicates that March’s jobs report will not be as positive.
As background, LinkUp is the only job search engine on the web that indexes only jobs found on corporate websites throughout the U.S. Updated daily, LinkUp’s job search engine contains 860,000 job openings indexed from 22,000 company websites. Because LinkUp does not include any jobs sourced from job boards and does not allow anyone to post jobs directly to the site, the search engine does not include any garbage listings such as job scams, phishing posts, work-at-home-scams, or old listings. And because LinkUp only indexes jobs from a single source (the employer’s corporate website itself), there are no duplicate listings that pollute aggregator sites such as Indeed and Simplyhired. As a result of these entirely unique attributes, not only is LinkUp the highest quality job site for job seekers (and it’s FREE!), but our jobs data is the ‘cleanest’ in the industry, entirely unencumbered by the noise that afflicts other jobs data sets.
In February, new job listings on company websites throughout the country fell by 14% from January and total job listings dropped 4% from the prior month. 47 states saw a decline in new jobs and 27 saw a drop in total job listings.
In terms of jobs by category, new job listings fell by 17% and total jobs dropped 5% from January. Job openings on company websites fell in 20 of the 31 categories tracked by LinkUp, while total job openings declined in 14 of 31 categories. The healthcare sector was particularly hard hit, accounting for the vast majority of the fall-off in new job listings and 100% of the decline in total job listings.
So tomorrow, look for a very good jobs report but keep in mind that job growth in March will likely slow down a bit. Given the experience of last spring when the ‘green shoots’ everyone was talking about were annihilated by a massive dose of Round-Up in subsequent months, it’s tough to get too excited about a single month’s numbers. Hopefully this year we’ll see more robust and sustained job growth.