The Conference Board has released data showing online job listings rising by 255,000 last month. The average monthly increase of jobs for 2009 was just 60,000.
"Employers' modest increase in demand for labor in the second half of 2009 is a nice way to end what has been a very challenging year," said Gad Levanon, Senior Economist at The Conference Board.
Online job listings still remain below average. While the total number of vacancies last month was 3,642,000, the average for 2008 was 4,481,000.
"The gap between the number of unemployed and the number of advertised vacancies is still very high, but the recent six months indicate that things are slowly moving in the right direction," noted Levanon. "The gap between the number of unemployed and the number of advertised vacancies is about 12 million, with 4.5 unemployed for every online advertised vacancy."
Meanwhile, Yahoo! HotJobs has released data from a survey about job outlook and attitudes.
Job satisfaction is low, even among new hires.
- 38.3% are "very satisfied" with their jobs and are not looking for a new job. That's just about the same as 2008 (38.5%)
- 44.6% are satisfied with their current job, but would consider a new job if the right opportunity came along. This is a big increase since 2008 (38.2%)
- The most unsatisfied make up 17% (down from 23% in 2008) and are new hires. 34% have applied for jobs they're overqualified for and 30% have accepted lower salary and/or fewer benefits.
"For employers, the statistic about unsatisfied recent hires is a warning sign," says Tom Musbach, managing editor for Yahoo! HotJobs. "This is the same group that potentially took on the job while sacrificing salary or growth, and these are the people who could leave once the economy turns."
While most workers are pessimistic about the immediate future, employers are more hopeful. 42% of hiring managers expect to maintain the same recruiting levels while 32% expect to increase recruiting in 2010.
"Job seekers and hiring pros don't have high hopes for a job market rebound in 2010, but our survey also shows many companies intend to hire more than they did last year," said Musbach. "It's incumbent on job seekers to remain resourceful, persistent, and positive to succeed in getting a job today."