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Index Shows Online Job Expansion Before Katrina Hit

In the pre-storm weeks, all but two of the 28 metropolitan areas Monster tracks saw a jump in online recruitment for sales jobs.

Monster Worldwide Inc. reports that nearly all of its metro areas saw online recruiting growth in sales, suggesting economic expansion in the weeks leading up to Hurricane Katrina.

The company reported Thursday that 26 of the top 28 U.S. metropolitan areas experienced a rise in online recruitment for sales positions in August. Overall, recruitment grew in 24 of the markets. The Monster Local Employment Index reported that major metro markets experienced surges in job postings in the following sectors: business, finance, education and training, legal and administration. Those results corresponded to Monster's national index released earlier this month.

As the metro figures were released, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that unemployment benefit claims rose. Of 71,000 claims filed last week, 68,000 were connected to destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. In the last two weeks of September 2001, jobless claims were at 59,000 and 64,000.

The index showed that Minneapolis, San Diego and Seattle had been experiencing the highest month-to-month increase in online recruiting growth. Other metro areas with strong growth included: Cleveland, Denver, Miami, New York City, Phoenix, Portland and Tampa. Detroit was the only city to see a decline in online recruiting, while Houston, Kansas City and Washington, D.C. remained flat.

Now, analysts are predicting an economic downturn and up to 400,000 jobless claims associated with damage from the hurricane.

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