The Monster Employment Index for the U.S, which measures online job availability in the country, increased to 120 in April from 118 in March, the online job-advertising agency Monster Inc. said Thursday. The rise in the index indicates that there was a slight increase in online job opportunities. However, on a yearly basis, the index was down 31% in April.

Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide said, April's rise in online recruitment activity was in line with seasonal expectations and suggests that the pace of slowdown in the U.S. labor market is moderating.

During the month, protection service occupations showed the largest monthly gain. Accommodation and food service as also the art and entertainment industries showed an increase in online job demand in April. Transportation and warehousing industries also showed a strong rise in online job opportunities.

Meanwhile, online job recruitment activity in the mining and extraction sector fell further in April, reflecting the impact of the current recession on commodity demand, which lowered business expansion. Legal, architecture and engineering occupations also experienced declines in online job opportunities in April.

Region-wise, 19 out of the top 28 major U.S metros recorded gains in online recruitment activity in April.

The Monster Employment Index is a broad and comprehensive monthly analysis of U.S. online job demand conducted by Monster Worldwide, Inc, with data being collected since October 2003.

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