Employers Believe Hiring Will Improve as Unemployment Numbers Worsen

By Staff Report

Feb. 5, 2009

Despite some bleak employment news this week, a large number of executives appear to be bullish on a need for talent.

More than three-quarters of executives surveyed by Korn/Ferry International Inc. say demand for talent will increase more in the next five years than in the previous five.

In addition, 52 percent predicted a recovery in 2009, with 35 percent saying it will be the second half of the year before there are signs of improvement. Another 39 percent said labor market challenges will linger until 2010.

Half of executives looking for jobs said they are “very confident” in their abilities to find one in 2009 that meets their expectations.

The Korn/Ferry report, released Thursday, February 5, arrived as the number of initial jobless claims in the U.S. climbed 5.9 percent the week ended January 31, the Department of Labor reported.

There were 626,000 initial claims for unemployment filed, up from the previous week’s revised figure of 591,000, according to the report released Thursday, February 5.

The Labor Department report corresponds with the most recent Monster Worldwide Inc. employment index, which fell 13 points to a reading of 118 in January. It is down 42 points from a year ago.

“The fact that employers have chosen to begin recruiting in 2009 on a cautious note is not surprising given the uncertain nature of the global economy,” said Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Massachusetts-based Monster.

“However, there are a few bright spots, including recruiting activity in public administration as well as in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, online recruitment activity still remains higher than levels seen during 2003 after the last recession.”

Monster’s index is based on a review of online job ads taken from a selection of corporate career Web sites and job boards, including Monster.

—Compiled by Rick Bell from Staffing Industry Analysts reports

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