2010: the year in jobs

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Job postings grew strongly in 2010 as signs of an improving economy emerged. After declining 13% in 2009, total U.S. job postings increased 88% last year.

Total job postings increased 6% per month on average. The largest monthly increase occurred in March with 15%, while the only decrease occurred in August with -3%.

Average job postings per month grew to 3,575,000 last year, a 34% increase over 2009’s monthly average.

2010 U.S. Job Postings Chart

Industry growth

Indeed’s first Industry Employment Trends report for January 2009 revealed job postings in most industries had declined nearly 50% year-over-year; a downward trend that continued through the year.

Industry job posting activity turned a corner in 2010 with combined industry job postings growing by 61%, and all 12 industries having at least 38% job posting growth year-over-year.

December 2010 Industry Employment Trends

Transportation and manufacturing, both cyclical industries, started seeing signs of improvement in July. Our December Industry Employment Trends show these industries had the largest percentage increase in job postings year-over-year.

Transportation led the way with a 147% increase in job postings year-over-year, including notable growth for trucking jobs. Manufacturing saw the second largest percentage change in job postings with a 90% increase.

Healthcare easily maintained the highest number of job postings compared to any other industry throughout 2010. Job seeker demand was strongest for medical assistant, lpn, and cna positions.

Retail had the second highest number of job postings, and increased 88% year-over-year. Job postings for retail peaked in November as seasonal hiring picked up.

Job market competition

Competition for jobs in the 50 most populous metro areas was much improved last year. Our AprilJob Market Competition report marked the first time in 2010 that all metro areas had fewer than 10 unemployed persons per job posting.

In July, only 13 metro areas had a 1:2 ratio or better. As of December, 29 metro areas reached a ratio of at least 1:2.

With six unemployed persons per job posting, Miami had the most competition for jobs at the end of the year. Four of the bottom 10 metro areas were in California, and three were in Florida.

Be sure to check back each month for updated Job Market Competition and Industry Employment Trends reports- leading indicators for the job market in 2011.