Job boards as economic indicators

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As I was sorting through the usual spate of ‘job boards are dead’ articles, I noticed other more interesting types of articles: pieces that point to job board postings as indicators of the state of the economy. (Monster has published their Employment Index since 2004.)

Makes sense, doesn’t it? If job boards are posting more jobs, then there must be more jobs available. Yet that’s where those doom-and-gloom job board articles clash – if job boards are no longer relevant and in fact are going down the tubes, then they can’t really be good indicators, eh? (Also, don’t forget that the increase in ‘free’ job post sites has driven up the volume of postings).

Well, as you probably know by now, I don’t subscribe to the ‘job boards are dead’ school. However, I do believe that job boards are evolving – in fact, they have no choice. The best are incorporating aspects of social media that make sense for their specific audiences. Some are attempting to become hubs for their audiences. Many allow their employers multiple ways to reach their job seekers – not just via job postings.

So getting back to the question at hand – yes, job boards can act as economic indicators, but simply using the number of job postings as that indicator is a bit simplistic. A better approach might be combining site traffic numbers, resume postings, job postings, and forum or network activity to produce an overall ‘economic health’ indicator.

Maybe your job board should take the lead – and get some free PR in the process!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Job board postings as an indicator of the state of the economy. | Job Board Doctor -- Topsy.com

  2. Bob Corlett

    Jeff,

    I’ve had this very same question for years. The Monster index seems to intertwine the fate of their job board with the state of the economy. Indeed took a stab at this with comparing the ratio of open jobs to the unemployment stats, but their initial numbers were quickly revised. These stats definitely generate heat, but do they shed light?

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