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April 5, 2012 / Toby Dayton

U.S. Jobs Picture Continues To Brighten; Look Beyond Headline Numbers For Improving Employment Situation; ‘Green Shoots’ This Year Look More Like Buckthorn

Tomorrow’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will come in very close to the consensus estimates of roughly 200,000 jobs created in March. Based on data from LinkUp’s job search engine in February, a month in which new and total job openings on company websites throughout the U.S. fell by 11.5% and 2.1% respectively, we do not expect any significant surprises in March’s numbers. Unemployment might stay the same or even rise to some degree as formerly ‘discouraged’ job seekers are now re-entering the job market, therefore increasing the numerator in that calculation. But beyond the headline numbers, we expect that the BLS will revise upward their numbers for February to 300,000 jobs created. That’s a critical new ‘highwater’ mark since the recovery began some time ago and will deliver a strong signal that the improving labor market is far more substantial this spring than last when the ‘green shoots’ everyone was raving about were swiftly mowed down later in the year.

Even more importantly, based on LinkUp’s jobs numbers for March, we are forecasting that in April the U.S. economy will add 350,000 jobs. In March, new job openings on 23,500 company websites throughout the U.S. rose 13% while total job openings on those company websites rose 8%.

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 over 900,000 job openings indexed from 23,500 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, lead-gen bait, 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 (and it’s FREE!), but our jobs data is the ‘cleanest’ in the industry, entirely unencumbered by the noise that afflicts other jobs data sets.

For the 2nd time in the past 3 months, both new and total job openings rose in all 50 states.

While not quite as uniform as the job openings by state, the number of categories showing an increase in new and total job openings was nearly as impressive.

So based on LinkUp’s jobs numbers for the first quarter, I would say that the green shoots we are seeing this year look more like buckthorn.