• RSS Feed

The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

August 8, 2011 / Toby Dayton

A Few Signs Of Hope From LinkUp’s July Jobs Data

Last Wednesday, LinkUp issued its 60-day jobs forecast based on data from its national job search engine. Our forecast for August and September is based on the number of new and total job listings indexed from over 22,000 corporate websites throughout the U.S. in June and July. The increase and decrease in these job openings indexed exclusively from company websites, a number that has hovered around 820,000 for the past few months, is very closely correlated to future hiring and job growth in the U.S. (In fact, LinkUp data from May allowed us to make a very accurate prediction in advance of last Friday’s better than expected BLS job report for July).

While our forecast indicates that the August numbers will be better than July, we expect that job growth will slow down again in September given the 9% drop in new job listings on LinkUp in July and the 1% drop in total job listings last month. (Through internal analysis, we have determined that our jobs data in a given month is more highly correlated to job growth two months later. Interestingly, it was the case a year ago that our data predicted job growth the following month, but that number has extended to two months as employers have lengthened their hiring processes). Despite these decreases in July and the slightly negative implications for job growth in September, there were some other positive data points from the LinkUp numbers in July.

In addition to all of the other data that we collect through our job search engine, one of the data points we closely track each day is the number of job openings in our job search engine. In July, LinkUp listed an average of 824,450 job openings from company websites. More importantly, the rolling 90-day average increased from 765,081 to 797,350, an increase of 4.2%.

Since the beginning of the year, the 90-day average of daily job openings on LinkUp has increased from 566,302 to 797,350 at the end of July. This is an increase of 40.8%. While some of that increase is the result of a slightly improved economy and resulting job growth (however anemic that might be), the growing number of jobs indexed by LinkUp has also resulted from the fact that we are constantly adding new companies to our search engine.

Given the growth in the number of company websites that we index, we also track the average number of job listings per company indexed by LinkUp. This strips out the job growth caused simply by the addition of new companies to the index and presents a more statistically accurate picture of the actual jobs environment in the U.S. Perhaps most encouragingly, the average number of job listings per employer website indexed by LinkUp has increased from 29.42 in January to 38.30 at the end of July. This represents an increase of 30.2% through the first 7 months of the year. Interestingly, the spike in average jobs per company in May is what contributed to the better-than-expected jobs report last Friday.

As a side note, it should also be pointed out that no other site on the web can provide as accurate a count of job openings per company for such a large number of companies in the U.S. Because Indeed and Simplyhired aggregate jobs from thousands of job boards, their sites are plagued by a horrendous amount of duplication that would render their analysis of a similar data set almost completely useless. To illustrate the point, Apple’s website lists 828 job openings on their corporate career portal, and Linkup’s search engine lists exactly 828 job openings for Apple.

Indeed, on the other hand, lists 5,462 jobs for Apple, a ridiculously inflated job count of almost 6x. The 4,634 extra Apple jobs on Indeed come from the Apple classifieds that Indeed sources from thousands and thousands of job boards. These extra job board listings are simply duplicates of Apple’s actual job openings. By aggregating listings from other job boards, Indeed also contains the same garbage that pollutes the typical pay-to-post job board such as old listings, job scams, phishing jobs, identity-theft scams, and money-mule fraud. But because Indeed and Simplyhired generate the majority of their revenue from their job board customers that buy traffic from them, Indeed and Simplyhired cannot remove this garbage from their sites.

So while Indeed might appear to be the largest job site on the web, their job count is wildly inflated due to the fact that their site includes job board pollution and tons of duplicate listings of the same jobs. Not only does this skew their jobs data, but it’s also extremely annoying for job seekers. Simplyhired, by the way, lists 1,223 job openings for Apple – better than Indeed but still well above the 828 actual job openings for Apple.

In any event, we will continue to closely watch our LinkUp data to get a sense of the job growth that is likely to occur in the months ahead.