Monthly Employment Update With Joanie Ruge

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report for March 2013 was just released. We spoke with Joanie Ruge, founder and president of Tack Consulting, Inc. and employment industry adviser to, to find out what those numbers, along with Monster’s own data, mean for employers and job seekers.

MonsterWorking: Joanie, where is some of the biggest job growth happening, year-over year?

Joanie: Over the past year, the biggest job growth has occurred in Florida and Texas, with job creation on the rise in business services and healthcare occupations. Online job demand in Florida markets, such as Miami, Tampa and Orlando, is on an upswing compared with last year. Miami, in fact, has one of the largest annual growth rates amid the large markets. Based on job posting data, there is a real demand for the following:

  • Registered nurses
  • Retail salespersons, first-line supervisors of retail workers, wholesale sales reps.
  • Larger demand in Miami for marketing, sales managers.
  • Larger demand in Tampa for Web developers, network and system administrators.
  • Larger demand in Orlando within the general hospitality industry, such as first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers, maids/ housekeeping cleaners, restaurant cooks.

You mention jobs are on the rise in Texas as well. Tell us a bit more about the growth markets and occupations most in demand.

Recruitment activity in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio has definitely picked up. These markets are well within the top markets for jobs currently, and have improved upon their performance annually as well. These markets are seeing online recruitment demand for registered nurses and IT occupations such as, Web developers, computer system analysts, and network administrators. In Houston, specifically, we’re seeing high demand for engineers including industrial, mechanical and petroleum engineers. Also in demand are accountants, which is not surprising considering the seasonal demand for tax preparation services. Monster job postings data also shows support service jobs like customer service reps, office and administrative occupations, and computer support specialists are in demand. Varied type of supervisors are also in demand, including first-line supervisors of retail sales workers, office and admin workers, food preparation and serving workers.

What can you share about job demand on the West Coast?

I see Los Angeles as the standout market in terms of job volume, building considerably from levels recorded at the end of last year. IT occupations including Web developers, software application developers, and computer system analysts are in demand in LA. Job posting volume also shows a demand for Sales occupations in retail, wholesale and manufacturing roles, along with first-line supervisors of retail sales workers. Management occupations in marketing, finance and sales roles are also in demand in Los Angeles. Monster’s data also shows registered nurses and executive administrative assistants are also in demand.

 How are things looking in the Northeast as far as year over year job growth?

Based on Monster’s job activity trends, there is still great job activity in the Northeast, particularly in the New York, Philadelphia and Boston markets. In New York, management occupations are in demand, specifically within marketing, finance and sales management roles. Market research analysts and management analysts are also in demand . IT occupations including Web developers, software application developers, and computer system analysts, along with public relations professionals and graphic designers are also in demand in New York. Monster’s jobs trend data shows strong demand in Boston in IT occupations, especially Web developers, software application developers, and computer system analysts. IT project managers are also in demand along with Marketing, Sales and Financial managers in Boston. Finally, in Philadelphia, Monster’s job posting data shows a strong demand for registered nurses. Sales and marketing managers, along with IT Project Managers, and medical and health services managers are in demand. Retail salespersons and first line supervisors of retail workers are also in high demand.

How does the jobs data compare to other jobs report data like the ADP numbers for example?

We’re really looking at different types of data. ADP is reporting on actual payroll activity as opposed to the view of potential opportunity. ADP looks at the employers in three categories:

  • Small businesses (1-49 employees) +74,000
  • Medium businesses (50-499 employees) +37,000
  • Large businesses (500 or more employees) +47,000

The interesting news is most of the job growth came from small businesses. We continue to see medium and large size employers adding to their payrolls but at a slow pace. These numbers show we are in a recovery but it continues to be a slow recovery.

This still appears to be good news for job seekers.

I see signs of hope though there are many factors at play. For instance, Consumer Confidence seems to go back and forth yet home prices have seen some gains. All of this influences what an employer might want to do about making new hires, even if there is a need. Another interesting way to look at the landscape is how many of the employed are contemplating a change. Nearly 70% of the people on Monster are currently employed, passive job seekers. Each month, more than one million new resumes are added to Monster’s global database, indicating people are considering other opportunities and looking to make a change. And when you factor in that more than 275 million job searches are performed on Monster each month, people are poised to make a move.

Be sure to check out Monster’s Resource Center for the latest recruitment and staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more, and follow #JobsReport on Twitter for the latest jobs data from

Joanie Ruge is an employment industry expert with 20 years of experience leading sales and operations for some of the top companies in the employment industry. Throughout her career she has counseled and worked with a wide range of employers — from small to mid-sized to Fortune 500 organizations — on hiring and retention strategies, workforce planning and demand management. Her commentary on the employment market is frequently featured on media outlets including Fox and Fox Business Network, Associated Press, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes.

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