A monthly gauge of online labor demand in the United States rose 7.0 percent in January compared to the same month a year ago, despite a decline the government employment.

All 28 metropolitan markets recorded positive annual job growth in January.

Monster Worldwide Inc (MWW.N), an online recruiting firm, said its index fell by 6.0 percent in January from December as employers scaled back on hiring activity following a relatively active December, but a seasonal December-January decline has now been recorded for four consecutive years.

The Monster Employment Index is a monthly gauge of U.S. online job demand based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large selection of corporate career Web sites and job boards, including Monster.com.

Mining and wholesale trade led all sectors in annual growth. There was particularly strong demand for information technology and and engineering specialists.

We're seeing positive year-over-year growth as economic recovery progresses at a measured pace, said Jesse Harriott, senior vice president at Monster Worldwide.

But public administration records an unprecedented 21 percent annual decline, reaching its lowest annual growth rate in the index, she said.

Private sector hiring, particularly in IT, business and healthcare occupations has been fueling growth which is encouraging. At the same time cuts in government-related recruitment since December are weighing down on overall growth, but not enough to prevent year-on-year growth for the first month of 2011.


Of the 20 industries monitored by the Index, 12 showed positive annual growth trends.

Wholesale trade employment was up 14 percent and was amongst the top-moving sectors in January, in contrast to seasonal expectations, as sector employers appeared to carry- over their year-end momentum into 2011, the company said.

Professional, scientific, and technical services were up 14 percent and remained strong year-over-year, and stable month-over-month due to particularly strong demand for IT and engineering specialists.

Accommodation and food services fell 16 percent and was amongst the slowest growing sectors in the index following a relatively active month of online hiring activity in December

Finance and insurance was up 2 percent and remained flat from December on an annual basis.

Public administration jobs fell 21 percent and registered the steepest annual decline, with less job creation in federal and local government.

Among the 50 states and Washington D.C., 40 registered annual increases in wonline job demand.

The report comes ahead of the U.S. government's closely watched U.S. payroll report for January on Friday, which is expected to show payrolls rose about 145,000 up from 103,000 in in December.

In Europe, the Monster Employment Index Europe continued a steady positive annual growth rate of 22 percent in December, ending the year with stronger demand in manufacturing and transportation. Germany continued to be the strongest overall creator of job opportunities in Europe.

(Americas Economics and Markets Desk, +1-646-223-6300)