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Monster U.S. Online Jobs Index Edges Up in August

A gauge of U.S. labor demand was higher in August but recruitment activity recovered less
than it typically does in the mo nth, in another sign of a cooling job market, a report said Thursday.

Monster, a global online careers and recruiting firm, said its Employment Index rose to 186 points in August from 183 in July; it was 173 a year ago.

The index, which measures online job demand, is now up 7.5% year-over-year, its lowest level on record and a further indication of softening employer demand for labor, the report said.

"Although the index was broadly up in August, the overall increase in online job availability was more modest than in previous years and points to further moderation in online recruitment activity compared to last year," said Steve Pogorzelski, an executive vice president for Monster Worldwide, parent company of Monster.

"The index's findings suggest that employers are recruiting more cautiously amid general uncertainties as to how much the troubled domestic housing sector will negatively impact broader U.S. economic growth in the months ahead," he added.

On Wednesday, the ADP National Employment Report said the U.S. private sector added 38,000 new jobs in August, down from a revised 41,000 in July. A Reuters survey had estimated the figure at 83,000.

The Monster index registered increases in 10 of 20 industries and 16 of 23 occupational categories in August.

The administrative, support, waste management and remediation industries registered the highest rate of increase in online job availability in August, followed by the arts, entertainment and recreation.

Online job demand was higher in eight of the nine U.S. census regions, aad New England's offering was flat for the third straight month.

The Monster Employment index is a monthly analysis based on a review of more than 1,500 career sites, job boards and other Web sites. The margin of error is approximately plus or minus 1%.

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