By Mark Pender

NEW YORK (MNI) – U.S. job openings edged higher in the Dec. 1 week
based on MNI’s indicator which rose to 0.4, back above breakeven zero to
indicate a weekly rise in online recruitment volume.

But the week’s gain is no more than marginal and is only the second
gain of the last seven weeks.

The four-week average is down for a fifth week in a row, to -4.6
vs. -8.2 in the prior week.

The median percent change in job postings among the 500 companies
in the sample shows no change in the week with the four-week average for
this reading, at -0.38%, down for five weeks in a row.

But the industry breakdown did swing to the positive side with six
showing a weekly increase in volume, five a decrease, and one no change.

Transportation & warehousing and construction both swung to the
plus side. Manufacturing and professional & business services remain on
the negative side.

Job openings in the week total 255,900 or 1.2% of the 21.8 million
U.S. workers covered in MNI’s sample.

MNI’s indicator tracks individual job listings on a weekly basis
from a sample of 500 of the nation’s largest employers. A positive
reading indicates that a greater share of the companies sampled
increased their online recruitment in the week than decreased their

Editor’s Note: MNI compiles its job openings indicator by tracking
job postings in career sections of company websites.

** MNI New York Bureau: 212-669-6430 **