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December 1, 2011 / Toby Dayton

Tomorrow’s Jobs Report Will Disappoint Again According To LinkUp Job Search Engine

Like clockwork every month, the pundits on Bloomberg and CNBC state definitively that THIS month’s jobs report is certainly the most widely anticipated report in recent memory. Unfortunately, I cannot argue their claim. With each passing month that the U.S. economy spends stuck in the quagmire of the 2nd Great Contraction, with its horrifically high unemployment, hope grows that it’s this next jobs report that might finally indicate that a jobs recovery is around the corner. Expectations are again high for a positive report tomorrow as economists are forecasting of a gain of 150,000 jobs in November. Some economists have even been scrambling to revise their forecasts upward in light of the positive report from ADP earlier this week. But like Charlie Brown perpetually believing that this time Lucy will actually let him kick the ball, tomorrow’s BLS report will again disappoint and the labor market will again be flat on its back in agony.

Based on LinkUp‘s jobs data from October, when new job listings on company websites throughout the U.S. declined 14.9% from September and total job listings dropped 5.3%, we are forecasting that the U.S. economy lost 70,000 jobs in November. (LinkUp is a job search engine that indexes job openings from thousands of company websites throughout the U.S.). Even more depressing, there’s a decent chance that the Department of Labor will revise their October jobs numbers downward in tomorrow’s report. The BLS initially reported a month ago that 80,000 jobs were created in October, but our forecasting model indicates that only 50,000 jobs were created in October given the weak jobs data from LinkUp in September. If that proves correct, then tomorrow’s report could be even more dismal.

LinkUp is the only job search engine on the web that indexes only jobs found on corporate websites throughout the U.S. Updated daily, LinkUp’s job search engine contains nearly 1,000,000 job openings indexed from roughly 25,000 company websites. Because LinkUp does not include any jobs sourced from job boards and does not allow anyone to post jobs directly to the site, the search engine does not include any garbage listings such as job scams, phishing posts, work-at-home-scams, or old listings. And because LinkUp only indexes jobs from a single source (the employer’s corporate website itself), there are no duplicate listings that pollute aggregator sites such as Indeed and Simplyhired. As a result of these entirely unique attributes, not only is LinkUp the highest quality job site for job seekers, but our jobs data is the ‘cleanest’ in the industry, entirely free of the noise that afflicts other jobs data sets.

In November, new job listings on company websites indexed by LinkUp dropped 19% and total job listings fell by 6%. (These percentage are slightly different than the table above which uses an average job count for October, while the table below uses a single, month-end job count for October. If you’re interested in a more detailed explanation, send me an email). Equally as grim, new job listings declined in 49 states and total job listings on company websites declined in 48 states.

In terms of jobs by category, the picture is equally as bleak. New job listings by category also dropped 19% and total job listings fell 6%. Similar to jobs by state table above, 29 of 31 job categories reported declines in new job listings, and 27 of 31 categories showed declines in total job openings.

Based on the LinkUp jobs data from October and November, we are also forecasting a negative number for December’s jobs report. Perhaps obvious but worth pointing out is the fact that a job listing posted on a company’s website in a given month indicates an intent to make a hire which would show up in the BLS numbers the following month, assuming that the job opening was filled. Job openings indexed by our job search engine have stayed open for an average of 27 days throughout 2011, so our jobs data for a given month is very highly correlated to BLS jobs reports for the following month.

Perhaps the only glimmer of hope in our numbers for the past 3 months is the fact that the rate of decline in total job openings on LinkUp, month-over-month, has steadily improved since September (see table at the top of this page). If that trend continues, we might even see a positive LinkUp number for total jobs in December, possibly indicating that the jobs picture might improve in Q1 2012. Or maybe that’s just Lucy goading us into a false sense of hope once again.