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The Monster Employment Index, a monthly gauge of U.S. online job demand based on a review of job opportunities from corporate career sites and job boards, shows the annual growth rate of job postings is up 13 percent in November.

Taking into account monthly growth, the index actually edged down two points, or 1 percent.

Despite this setback, the index recorded that November was the tenth consecutive month of positive annual growth rate.

November growth was buoyed by retail trade registers, which registered strong growth.

Other points of note:

– Health care and social assistance records accelerated annual growth, with long-term trends most improved for healthcare support workers

– Management of companies and enterprises; and finance and insurance edge down on annual basis in November possibly indicating continued uncertainty in the banking and related fields

“The slight month-to-month decline in the Monster Employment Index could be attributed partly to seasonal trends typically witnessed at this time of the year,” said Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide. “The outlook however continues to be one of modest recovery with job availability generally higher over the year across most sectors as we approach 2011.”

When segmenting by industry, 17 of the 20 industries monitored by the Index showed positive annual growth trends:

– Retail trade (up 22 percent) was among the top growth sectors on a yearly basis, due to the robust demand for seasonal workers in advance of the busier holiday sales period

– Health care and social assistance (up 25 percent) resumed year-over-year growth in November, with relatively strong long-term trends for online recruitment activity nationwide

– Finance and insurance (up 4 percent) registered a substantial deceleration in annual growth rate in the Index

– Management of companies and enterprises (down 1 percent) remained slightly below year-ago levels in the Index, reflecting a somewhat tempered market for large management/administration and consulting operations.

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