August 2010 Employment Trends Show Slight Uptick

Sep 21 2010 in Employment Economy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career advice

CC Image by joseph readdy

At the end of August 2010, the major job sites released hiring data and analysis for the month, indicating results that unemployment edged up slightly compared to July. Today’s article summarizes job reports from, and

Not only is this data valuable for job seekers, but for business analysts, corporate strategists, marketers, salespeople, investment analysts, financial advisers, and others who are interested in companies experiencing growth.

August’s unemployment rate of 9.6% registered a slight increase from July, but had enough mixed results that CareerBuilder referred to August results as a “glass half full”. While August non-farm payroll lost 54K jobs, it beat projected losses of 105K jobs. Also, July’s estimate was revised to also be a loss of 54K jobs, from an initial estimated loss of 131K (June’s estimates revised to 175K job losses from initial estimates of 221K losses). August Government sector jobs were down 121K, primarily due to census jobs ending, while private sector added 67K jobs. These are still signs of a slow recovery.

The good news behind this is private sector jobs increased 763K year to date, led by the health care industry that added 259K employees and temp firms have added of 392K workers since September 2009.

Job growth still was inconsistent, effecting some cities, industries and job functions more than others. Some job markets remain in the dumper – Miami, Detroit held flat but Los Angeles dropped 2 spots – all three remain in deep trouble with up to a 1:8 (Los Angeles was 1:7) ratio of unemployed workers to job advertisements.

Growth by Function:

Indeed tracks employment trends by industry each month. Indeed’s August 2010 trend by industry survey shows growth in all fields, except health care. While health care shows the least growth from last year at 17% compared to August 2009, there were over twice the number of health care openings (819K) than retail (408K) the next closest industry. The greatest changes were in transportation (a humongous 119%), manufacturing (67%), media/newspaper (65%) and retail (55%).

Chart source: Blog

Growth by Metro Area: publishes a monthly report of where the jobs are, giving insights into which job market is strongest and which is weakest. Indeed’s job market survey shows slightly increased job advertising activity, demonstrating very slow growth.

Indeed’s August 2010 survey of job advertisements show the job market is strongest in Washington DC, NYC NY, San Jose CA and Baltimore MD. Washington has been at the top of the list for a while, as federal government spending remains high. San Jose gained last month, after dropping a few spots a few months ago, while Baltimore dropped a spot. The remainder of the 10 top job markets are geographically in the Northeast, North Central, and Northwest US (plus Austin): Hartford CT, Cleveland OH, Seattle WA, Boston MA, Austin TX, Milwaukee WI all share a 1:2 ratio. In addition, Denver CO, Richmond VA, and St. Paul MN are also at 1:2 ratio of unemployed to job advertisements.

I remain shocked that we’re still talking about Cleveland and Milwaukee as two hot spots of the job market? It’s about as likely as the Cubs winning the World Series (or even making the playoffs).

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Los Angeles CA (#48, 1:7), Detroit MI (#49, 1:8) and Miami FL (#50, 1:8). Florida has the unfortunate distinction of having 3 of the worst 10 job markets – Orlando (#42, 1:4) Jacksonville (#43, 1:4) and Miami (#50, 1:8). California continues to have 3 of the worst 10 job markets – Sacramento (#45, 1:5), Riverside (#47, 1:7), and Los Angeles (#48, 1:7).

Some of these ratios improved slightly last month, while others fell. New Orleans increased 7 spots (after dropping 10 spots in July and 13 spots in June) as the fishing industry started to recover from oil spill related job losses, while Memphis TN picked up 7 spots, Houston TX picked up 6 spots, Atlanta GA picked up 6 spots, and Birmingham AL picked up 5 spots. This indicates that job growth continues to be spotty – we are starting to see some growth in some selected places, but it typically hasn’t been sustainable in multiple months. The ratios are improving in markets overall but improving slowly.

Chart source: Blog

SimplyHired: Job Competition by Metro Area

SimplyHired publishes it’s data a month later, so their most recent figures are from July 2010. SimplyHired also looks at job competition including mid-sized metro areas.

SimplyHired listed the best 5 Metro areas as: Burlington VT/Plattsburgh NY, Paducah KY/Cape Girardeau MO/Harrisburg IL, El Paso TX/Las Cruces NM, Omaha NE, and Des Moines IA/Aimes IA.

The website listed the 5 worst job markets as: Fresno CA/Visalia CA, Harlingen TX/Weslaco TX/Brownsville TX/McAllen TX, Youngstown OH, Las Vegas NV and Detroit MI.

Best and Worst Metros for Job Seekers – July 2010

Chart Source:

To summarize the findings of these reports, we’re seeing continued slight job growth suggesting a slow recovery remains tentative and inconsistent. The effects of census jobs are over and won’t have an effect on future hiring.


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