June Shelp, vice president at The Conference Board, called the January surge "welcome news" after relatively flat job growth during the second half of 2010, but she cautioned that it's too early to call it a trend. "Last year, after a promising start (up about 350,000 in January 2010), labor demand fizzled, and the last half of 2010 was actually flat with no appreciable gains in job demand," Shelp said. "Hopefully the January 2011 increase suggests that employers are seeing a pickup in their businesses and labor demand will continue to improve throughout this year."
The board's Help Wanted Online Data Series tracks more than 1,000 online job boards across the United States. Forty-nine states posted gains in online job listings. Rhode Island reported a decline of 200 job postings.
The surge in skilled healthcare practitioner job listings was fueled by a demand for registered nurses, and family and general practitioners. There were three job listings for every healthcare practitioner job seeker, with the average salary of $33.51.
Healthcare support saw an increase in many areas including home health aides, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants. However, there are still 2.4 workers seeking positions in healthcare support for every advertised vacancy, with pay averaging $12.84 an hour.