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Online job postings rise 5.7% in April to 17-month high

May 3, 2010 | 12:07 pm

In a hopeful sign for the employment picture, a tally of the number of online job postings nationwide jumped by almost 223,000 in April from March to the highest level in 17 months, the Conference Board said Monday.

The research group said it counted 4.15 million job vacancies advertised online in April, up 5.7% from 3.93 million in March.

The total number of postings had dipped slightly in February and March after rising above 4.02 million in January.

The April figure is the largest number of postings since 4.35 million were counted in November 2008, as the recession was deepening amid the financial-system crash. The number of advertised vacancies hit bottom at 3.16 million in April 2009.

“Providing evidence of the strengthening economy, labor demand in April rose in practically every state and a wide variety of occupations from management positions to office workers and sales help,” June Shelp, a vice president at the Conference Board, said in a statement.

The board says its report measures the number of new, first-time online jobs and jobs reposted from the previous month on more than 1,200 major Internet job boards and smaller job boards that serve niche markets and smaller geographic areas.

The government on Friday will report its initial estimate of net job losses or gains in the economy for April. The month is expected to show a net gain of 188,000 jobs, according to the average estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The U.S. posted a net gain of 162,000 jobs in March, including a surge in temporary positions for census workers. If April also shows a gain it would mark the first back-to-back monthly job growth since November and December 2007.

-- Tom Petruno