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Katrina rebuilding boosts online job ads
Monster Worldwide job postings index at record high, with Gulf Coast employers leading the way.
December 1, 2005: 6:55 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Employers posted more job openings online than ever before in November, according to Monster Worldwide, with the call for help from the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast leading the way.

But it wasn't just Hurricane Katrina that was helping to lift job postings nationwide, according to the online job listing service that reviews 1,500 Web sites to compile its monthly index. The index shows gains in postings in 32 states, with job offerings from retailers, utilities and information technology firms leading the way.

"What the numbers indicate is a very significant increase in demand for engineering and computer and mathematical workers," said Steve Pogorzelski, group president at Monster Worldwide.

The company's index rose to a reading of 149 from 143 in October, the highest level in the two years the firm has been collecting data.

Job offerings in the West South Central region, which includes New Orleans and the Texas Gulf Coast that was hit by Hurricane Rita in September, had the biggest gains in postings. Among the job categories showing the greatest increases were sales, construction, and a category that includes installation, repair and maintenance, said Pogorzelski.

Employers involved in the recovery effort are having trouble finding the workers they need locally due to the large number of residents still displaced by the storm, he said.

"We're hearing stories of companies domiciling people in Baton Rouge (La.), and then driving them two hours a day by bus to New Orleans," he said. "Until that housing normalizes a bit, you won't see a full impact on rebuilding effort."

Meanwhile job postings from the city's key tourism industry, which normally would be gearing up its seasonal hiring, have been almost non-existent to this point, said Pogorzelski.

"Typically we see it 60 to 90 days ahead of time. We'll have to keep an eye on those indicators in future months," he said.

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