Report: Available jobs decline 9%

Drop comes after increase for three consecutive quarters.

By SHARON WROBEL
July 25, 2010 23:41
2 minute read.
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financial graph 311. (photo credit: stock photo)

The number of available jobs fell an average of 9 percent in the second quarter, after increasing for three consecutive quarters, as uncertainty in the economy grows, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry reported Sunday.

“The figures show a decline in the number of available positions,” the report said. “The number of available jobs is higher than the average in 2009 but still much lower than the levels of demand for workers in the years 2006 to 2008.”

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The employment balance, new hiring minus layoffs, declined from the previous quarter, the report said. The number of available jobs fell from a daily average of 55,900 in seasonally adjusted terms in the first quarter to 51,000 in the second quarter, it said.

The number of available jobs in the business sector rose by 54% compared with the second quarter last year, the report said.

The decline in available jobs was most felt in the industrial, construction, transportation, communications and community-services sectors.

The employment balance was positive in the second quarter, at 28,300 positions, and down from a positive balance of 51,500 in the previous quarter and a negative balance of 9,400 in the same quarter last year, the report said.

“There is a sharp decline in the employment balance, but it is still positive, which means that employment in the second quarter continued to grow but at a slower pace than in the previous quarters,” the report said. “Furthermore, the number of layoffs in the reported quarter fell by 22%, to 62,000 from 79,000 in the previous quarter.”

Expectations for the third quarter point to growth in available jobs, although there was a reported decline in the expectations for activity in the business sector, the report said.

“The increased level of uncertainty in the economy in recent months as result of the economic crisis in Europe is having an impact on the labor market and expectations,” said Benny Pfefferman, head of the economics and research division at the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.

“Only the next couple of months will tell if we are experiencing a temporary slowdown in the improvement in the economy seen since the second half of 2009, or a change in trend.”

The Central Bureau of Statistics reported last week that May’s unemployment rate had fallen to 6.5% from 6.6% in April as the economy expanded in the last quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010. Last May, unemployment stood at 7.8%.


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