MANCHESTER - A national career networking website ranked Manchester as the fourth best place in the country to find a job.
In a report titled, "The Top 50 Places to find a Job," the help-wanted site, Beyond.com, placed Manchester fourth in the nation for growth in the number of job postings compared to the same period last year, with a 222 percent increase.
Postings by employers for jobs in the Manchester area on Beyond.com in the third quarter more than doubled from the year before, according to the analysis released on Dec. 6.
Number one in the "Top 10 Metros at a Glance" was San Jose, Calif., with a 383 percent increase in help wanted postings, followed by Bloomington, Ill. and Cheyenne, Wyo. Filling out the top five, after Manchester, was Midland, Texas.
Employers with the most postings from Manchester were in the fields of health care, information technology, sales and sales management.
"Overall, what struck me when I was looking at the Manchester numbers was how they really seem to parallel a lot of what we see happening on the national landscape," said Joe Weinlick, chief marketing officer for Beyond.com. "The job categories that are growing in Manchester are where we continue to see growth nationally. There are pockets struggling to recover, but Manchester is posting a lot of jobs."
Until recently, the Beyond.com survey listed where the largest number of postings were coming from, so New York and California locations always ranked at the top. For the most recent report, however, the website analysts began to compare the number of postings from employers to the civilian labor force as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The rankings are based on where are the most jobs per person in the work force," Weinlick said.
In July, August and September, the site recorded 11,902 postings from Manchester, an average of 3,967 per month, compared to the previous year, when 3,691 were posted for the entire quarter, at the rate of about 1,230 a month.
Beyond.com, established in 1998, claims more than 25 million members, including job seekers and potential employers, with the strongest representation in health care and medical, technical and sales jobs.
"Keep in mind, what we see are job postings, not actual hiring," Weinlick cautioned. The company doesn't track actual job placement. But the postings are a good leading economic indictor, he said.
The National Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data for December suggests that advertised vacancies nationally were basically flat for the last six months. The Monster.com Employment Index for December is up 7 percent.
Weinlick said an increase in help-wanted postings is a sign that an economic turnaround is under way.
"When you see actual hiring go up, the economy has already improved," he said. "But before the hiring goes up, companies have to have the confidence to post jobs. This is something we've seen in October and November."
Half the jobs posted from New Hampshire on the site were from the Manchester metropolitan statistical area as defined by the Bureau of Labor statistics, which also includes Auburn, Bedford, Candia, Dunbarton, Goffstown, Hooksett, New Boston and Weare.
Whether all those jobs actually get filled is a question that may remain unanswered until the Congress and President come to terms on deficit reduction, tax rates and expense cuts.
"We've seen a lot of companies posting new jobs, but not filling them as quickly as we'd like because of all the uncertainties," Weinlick said. "But the need to hire is there. We think this is really going to translate into good news for the first quarter of next year."