Wednesday, the Monster Employment Index, which measures online job availability in the U.S, decreased slightly to 117 in June from 118 in the previous month, a report by Monster Worldwide Inc said. (Alex)

Year-on-year, the index was down 28%, improving over the annual pace of decline seen in April and May, the firm noted.

While the U.S. online job availability has remained largely flat since January, the annual pace improved during the second quarter, suggesting some expansion in underlying employer demand for workers, Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide said.

Still, current levels of online job vacancies are at their lowest since January 2005, illustrating the extent to which hiring has slowed during this recession, Harriott added.

In June, online job availability rose in eight of the Index's 20 industry sectors and 12 of the 23 occupational categories monitored. Among industries, real estate, rental and leasing registered the strongest monthly rise in online job availability, amid signs of stabilization in the housing market, the Monster report said.

Among the occupations, legal and protective services registered the largest month-on-month increase in online job availability. At the same time, the demand for technically skilled professionals eased further in June.