The Bright Side

Every day there are upward trends in the employment market, despite the overall state of the economy. Here we reveal upward-trending cities, sectors and employers and place them at your fingertips.

Bright Estimates 162,000 Net Jobs Were Created in January 2014.

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Bright Estimates 165,000 Net Jobs Were Created in December 2013.

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Bright Employment Report: Bright Estimates 183,000 Net Jobs Were Created in November 2013.

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Bright Employment Report: Bright Estimates 149,000 Net Jobs Were Created in October 2013.

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Bright Employment Report: Bright Estimates 164,000 Net Jobs Were Created in September 2013.

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Labor Day: A Tribute to American Workers. Bright Estimates 192,000 Net Jobs Were Created in August 2013.

The tradition of Labor Day signifies summer is on its way out, fall is arriving, and perhaps it is no longer appropriate to wear white. Many Americans celebrate the day of tribute to the American worker by, ironically, not working. But according to a recent article, depression is responsible for nearly $23 billion in absenteeism. Does mandatory time off help raise workers' spirits and prevent further losses in productivity?

The United States is a major outlier among other developed countries when it comes to mandatory time off, and that ends up effecting poorer workers more than anybody else. According to the The Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), though 23% of American workers don’t receive paid time off, that number jumps to 49% for the bottom fourth of wage earners.

So do we benefit at all from working so much more than our developed peers? Many economists think not. TIME investigated the issue last year, quoting CEPR economist Jason Schmitt who argued the macroeconomic effect of mandatory paid time off is “actually pretty small,” and that ”It’s very hard to say that those policies are connected to any kind of a reduction in economic performance.”

So, to help celebrate, here are a few fun Labor Day facts:

• The Department of Labor appointed Thomas E. Perez as the new Secretary of Labor on July 23, 2013. Congrats on the new job!

• Labor Day is 100 years old this year. On March 4, 1913, William Howard Taft signed legislation creating the U.S. Department of Labor. Happy Birthday!

• Nonfarm Business has had a .9% increase in productivity, a 2.6% increase in output and a 1.7% increase hours worked in the second quarter of 2013.

• Manufacturers have had a 2.7% increase in productivity.

• US Labor Department announced the final rules to improve employment of veterans and people with disabilities on August 27, 2013.

There is more good news following the three-day weekend: Bright estimates that 192,000 jobs were created in August 2013. This represents a relatively strong month for job creation, but it remains to be seen what this month’s strong job creation means for the overall health of the economy. We’ll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics has to say on the matter this Friday, September 6.

Download the Bright Employment Report August 2013

Download the Bright Tech Report August 2013

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Amazon announces hiring plan, Bright predicts 178,000 net jobs were created in July 2013.

American technology companies have often been criticized for outsourcing manufacturing jobs to China, rather than hiring American workers. Companies like Apple (72,000 workers), Microsoft (99,000 employees), HP (>300,000 employees), and IBM (>400,000 employees), have historically sought out cheaper labor overseas. Bucking this trend, and coincidentally timed with President Obama’s speech on middle-class jobs at the Amazon campus in Chattanooga, Amazon announced a plan to create more than 5,000 jobs at warehouses across the country.

The quality of these jobs is a matter of debate. While Amazon employs many computer scientists and MBAs, it also relies upon tens of thousands of blue-collar warehouse workers to keep up with consumer demand. Amazon's dependence on high-speed order fulfillment means these jobs simply cannot be shipped overseas. The salary paid to many of these workers will place them just above the poverty line, but the sheer volume of jobs in Amazon’s plan is creating a political buzz amongst many pundits lobbying for job growth.

Bright.com predicts 178,000 net new jobs were created in July 2013. While the economic effects of increased hiring by companies like Amazon will likely be slow to materialize, we will continue to monitor the hiring practices of every company in every industry in every city in the United States.

We’ll find out on Friday, August 2 if Amazon’s announcement injects optimism into the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Download the Bright Employment Report July 2013

Download the Bright Tech Report July 2013

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On the Rise: New home sales, Case-Shiller Index, and Construction Jobs. Bright estimates 172,000 jobs created in June 2013.

A strong housing market can anchor economic recovery, driving demand for construction materials and creating jobs. Sales of new homes rose 2.1% in May, reaching the highest levels in nearly five years, indicating substantial strength in the housing sector. In addition, the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Index has been on the rise in 2013, reflecting increases in home prices across the nation. The existing-home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas were 12.1% higher in April than a year earlier, and up 2.5% from March. Despite recent concerns about rising mortgage rates, many signs suggest a resurgent housing sector.

But what does this mean for jobs? In the immediate term, demand for skilled construction workers is on the rise: we observe a 7.9% increase in postings for construction jobs over the first half of 2013. While a direct month-over-month correlation was not observed, the Case-Shiller Index and home sales statistics are trailing indicators of health in the housing sector. Job postings are likely a leading indictor of recovery, and suggest that the housing sector may indeed be resurgent and creating jobs.

Though rising borrowing costs didn’t appear to dampen housing sales in May, some analysts warn that the effects could hit in the coming months. However, if job creation continues, the housing market recovery will likely continue.

At Bright, we are committed to helping people find jobs, and making the labor market more efficient through technology. We are continually monitoring Beveridge, Case-Shiller, skill supply/demand, and other metrics of the labor market. Bright estimates 172,000 jobs were created in June 2013, reflecting the persistantly slow job growth in the United States. See the map below for details on where these jobs are being created. Rectifying the widespread problems throughout the labor market will not occur overnight, but the housing sector is displaying many signs of resurgency, incuding job creation.

We'll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports this month on Friday, July 5.

Download the Bright Employment Report June 2013

Download the Bright Tech Report June 2013

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The Beveridge Curve, Job Vacancies, Unemployment, and the Tech Skills Shortage: Bright estimates 177,000 jobs created in May 2013

The Beveridge curve, or the empirical relationship between job vacancies and unemployment, is a well-known indicator of the health of the labor market. In a healthy labor market, as job vacancies rise, unemployment declines. However, when vacancies rise and unemployment does not display a corresponding decline, this likely indicates a mismatch in the labor market, resulting in an increased NAIRU metric (nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment), or the lowest unemployment rate that can be maintained without increasing inflation.

The most recent recession has brought about an unprecedended outward shift of the Beveridge curve described in detail in Ghayad and Williams' 2012 policy brief 'What Can We Learn by Disaggregating the Unemployment-Vacancy Relationship?'. Based upon their findings that both white-collar and blue-collar jobs appear to be affected, in contrast to the more sustained shift observed in the 1970s, Ghayad and Williams conclude that the current outward shift is likely being driven by something other than a mismatch between workers' skills and the demands of available jobs. However, one might consider that the current shift may in fact be due to a shortage of candidates with in-demand technology skills.

There is a highly contested debate in the technology industry as to whether or not the United States is actually experiencing a significant shortage of highly-skilled employees, from software developers to engineers. A new study from the Silicon Valley venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, suggests this is still the case. Specifically, the 2013 Internet Trends report from the venerable firm argues that the U.S. does lack enough talent with "STEM" degrees, or backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, top in-demand skills are tech-centric, including HTML5, MongoDB, iOS, Android, Hadoop, and jQuery. While the supply of these skills is increasing, it is not increasing fast enough to keep up with the rapidly accelerating demand. The problem is compounded by the fact that technology is incredibly pervasive and infiltrates even non-technology industries, as more and more businesses embrace technological optimization and automation.

There does not appear to be any end in sight for the current technology revolution. As data storage becomes cheaper and cheaper, and more and more businesses retain metrics of every variety to help them grow and become more efficient, workers with the know-how to analyze and apply this data will be in increasing demand.

At Bright, we are committed to helping people find jobs, and making the labor market more efficient through technology. Via a recent partnership, we are now training the next generation of front-end engineers and data scientists. In addition, we are continually monitoring Beveridge, job vacancies, and skill supply/demand metrics. Bright estimates 177,000 jobs were created in May 2013, reflecting the persistantly slow job growth in the United States. Rectifying the widespread problems throughout the labor market will not occur overnight, but minimizing the tech skills shortage will go a long way towards putting the Beveridge Curve back in its place.

We'll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports this month on Friday, June 7.

Download the Bright Employment Report May 2013

Download the Bright Tech Report May 2013

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Bright estimates 171,000 jobs created in April 2013

Employment increased by 171,000 net jobs from April to May 2013 according to the April 2013 Bright Employment Report, which is produced by Bright Media Corporation and Bright.com. The report is derived from one of the nation’s largest aggregations of job postings and resumes. This data is supplemented with government, financial, real estate, and other data sources, in order to measure changes in nonfarm private employment through a novel method utilizing inter-temporal substitution, regression, and labor supply.

Two other reports issued by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) also include monthly estimates of net jobs created. For their monthly Current Population Survey (CPS; household survey), which derives their net non-farm jobs created estimate, BLS collects data each month from the payroll records of a sample of approximately 145,000 nonagricultural business establishments. ADP also uses payroll data, however their estimate focuses on the payrolls of private businesses in their system. Thus, these three metrics from Bright, BLS, and ADP each examine unique and important aspects of the labor market.

This month’s estimate of 171,000 net jobs created comes on the heels of last month’s disappointing report by the BLS indicating that only 88,000 jobs were created in March. Rather than slipping further, job creation appears to have recovered nearer the levels seen around the beginning of 2013.

We'll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports this month on Friday, May 3.

Download the Bright Employment Report April 2013

Download the Bright Tech Report April 2013

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Bright predicts 223,000 jobs created in March 2013

Employment increased by 223,000 net jobs from March to April 2013 according to the March 2013 Bright Employment Report, which is produced by Bright Media Corporation and Bright.com. The report is derived from one of the nation’s largest aggregations of job postings and resumes. This data is supplemented with government, financial, real estate, and other data sources, in order to measure changes in nonfarm private employment through a novel method utilizing inter-temporal substitution, regression, and labor supply.

Although the sequester will marginally impact growth in government-contract job markets, the overall labor market shows signs of improvement month over month. Technology continues to lead the way, with two of the top three growth markets (Silicon Valley and Austin, TX) in hot hi-tech geographies. In addition, tech jobs are the most readily available of any industry in metropolitan statistical areas centered in San Francisco, San Jose, Washington D.C., Houston, and Austin.

The number of jobs in the technology sector has grown a substantial 3.9% nationwide in just the first three months of 2013 (comparing Quarter 4 2012 to Quarter 1 2013). Whereas some of the known tech geographies where among the fastest growing regions in tech, including San Francisco, Austin, Boston and Seattle, other areas less well-known for their tech jobs also displayed strong growth, including Santa Fe, Toledo, Springfield, and Kansas City. In addition, these jobs are trending to favor male job seekers. While the tech sector is predominantly male overall, an estimated 71% male, the titles displaying the largest increase in available jobs have also trended towards male-dominated roles, including Systems Administrators (89.7% male), Senior Software Engineers (77.1% male), and IT Project Managers (65% male). These results support the recently discussed views of Sheryl Sandberg, that women really should “lean in” more, especially when it comes to attaining employment in the technology sector.

We'll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports this month on Friday, April 5.

Bright Employment Report March 2013

Bright Tech Report March 2013

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Semester of the Sequester? Bright predicts 131,000 jobs created in February

According to the Washington Post Post-Pew Poll, just one in four Americans are following very closely the debate over the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to kick in on Friday, March 1. Perhaps this is because nobody knows if it will happen, what will happen, how to prepare, or perhaps simply because most people don't think it will affect them. The US economy created a sluggish 131,000 jobs in February, even worse than January's 189,000 jobs, according to our Data Science team at Bright.com.

Unfortunately, its not going to get much better. Whether you believe the sequester is going to happen or not, government jobs and private sector companies relying on public contracts will be negatively affected for the foreseeable future. Is there a new normal upon us? We haven't seen substantial, repeatable job growth in years, and the looming sequester (i.e. meaningful reduction of government spending in key areas affecting job creation) doesn't help. In fact, even if the sequester is averted, government agencies have already put on hold their hiring plans. Restarting those plans doesn't happen overnight. Either way, 2013 is headed, at worst, towards an anemic job creation year, and at best an incremental gain from the previous 12 months.

How would a sequester impact the labor market? A recent op-ed piece in the LA Times quoted a reader as saying: "If the sequester happens and thousands of jobs are lost, the economic recovery reverses and millions of Americans suffer, then the Republicans will have finally won — and the country will have lost, not the president." Many people are predicting many different things, but the truth is: noone knows. In order to begin to evaluate the potential effects of the sequester on the labor market, we analyzed job openings stating EEOC compliance, jobs likely under government contracts. This revealed a downward trend in the number of EEOC jobs over the past six months, possibly fiscal-cliff related, but unlikely related to the sequester specifically. In addition, we did not measure any significant effect in February, suggesting the labor markets under the umbrella of government contracts maintain hope a sequester will be averted. We will continue to montitor this and other sequester-related metrics in the coming months.

Despite the potential sequester, many large metropolitan statistical areas maintain healthy job markets. Topping the chart, Toledo Ohio, has nearly one job opening for every 100 residents. Other great places to find a job include Baltimore-Towson MD, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA, Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos TX, and Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC.

We'll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports this month on Friday, March 8.

Full Bright Employment Report for February 2013

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Walking the Mendoza Line: Bright predicts 189,000 jobs created in January 2013

The “Mendoza Line” began as a baseball expression, named for shortstop Mario Mendoza, whose batting average became shorthand for the definition of incompetent hitting. When a baseball player’s batting average falls under .200 (meaning one hit in every five at bats, on average), the player is said to be “below the Mendoza Line”. Under this bare minimum, it becomes difficult to justify a player’s continued presence in Major League Baseball, regardless of their other abilities.

In general, the expression is frequently used to describe the line between acceptable mediocrity and unacceptable mediocrity. Coincidentally, the labor market’s Mendoza line is also around 200: 200 thousand jobs created per month. Just to keep up with changing population levels and new individuals entering the job market, 200 thousand positions must be created every month. Throughout 2012 (and really since 2010, or the end of the last recession) the number of jobs created per month has hovered around this low-end cutoff. Essentially, the labor market is not growing; it is stagnant. In fact, Obama recently became the president with the highest unemployment rate to win a second term since FDR. Obama is also the only president since World War II, besides Ronald Reagan, to win re-election with the jobless rate above 6 percent. Although our labor market growth continues to be borderline incompetent, there are signs that change is on the horizon: enter technology.

Demand for technology jobs continues to grow. In large metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), it is well-known that computer science majors are in short supply and in high demand. And, of course, one very real problem area where technology workers are needed to drive innovation is the stagnant job market. How can we make the process of finding and hiring workers move faster and more efficiently? Numerous companies, both old and new, are attempting to solve this problem. Altruism isn’t the only motivator of course, but reducing unemployment is an important end-goal. In a healthy economy, any person who wishes to be gainfully employed can be—and should be—employed. At the very least, the unemployed 7.8% of this country would probably agree.

The Bright Score is our solution to the Mendozian labor market. The Bright Score is a data-driven relevancy algorithm that instantaneously scores and sorts candidates for any given job position based on each candidate’s education, experience, skills, and other qualifications. It eliminates the lengthy and expensive task of finding the right fit between an open position and a qualified candidate. Now, job seekers may apply to jobs where they have the best chance of attracting the attention of hiring managers. Recruiters can locate the most qualified candidates within seconds, reducing the time spent searching for top prospects and sifting through applicants by up to 90%. Over time, this will drastically reduce the expense and time to hire, add efficiency, and decrease cost. The likely result of increased efficiency and decreased cost is increased profit. Increased profit leads to more jobs, and more jobs will elevate the labor market above the line of unacceptable mediocrity.

This change cannot occur overnight. However, the status quo will no longer suffice. Mario Mendoza also had four career home runs; does that make him a power hitter? The trend, evidence, and necessity all point to technology. If technology can enable you to control iTunes from the comfort of your couch, why can’t it also help a job seeker find a decent job, and a recruiter find a qualified candidate?

Will technology find an efficient solution to surface the strongest candidates and finally begin an upward trend in demand? We at Bright firmly believe that it can, and will.

We'll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics has conjured up this month on Friday, February 1.

Full Bright Employment Report for January 2013

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Bright predicts 141,000 jobs created in December 2012

Happy 2013 everyone!

Historically, December tends to be one of the slowest hiring months of the year, and December 2012 was no exception. Bright predicts 141,000 jobs were created in December 2012.

Despite this slow down, there remain numerous Bright regions in the employment landscape. Comparing the first half with the second half of the year in the eleven largest metros, San Francisco turned in the largest overall jobs growth in terms of percentage change in 2012, followed by Phoenix and San Diego, and we expect this trend to continue into 2013.

In addition, several sectors displayed significant growth including telecommunications, healthcare, and tech, while law enforcement, banking/financial services, and insurance displayed significant decline.

We'll see what the Bureau of Labor Statistics has conjured up this month on Friday, January 4. We wish everyone a successful and happy 2013.

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Bright predicts 203,000 jobs created in November 2012

Following his election victory, Obama became the president with the highest unemployment rate to win a second term since FDR, Bloomberg reports. Obama is also the only president since World War II -- besides Ronald Reagan -- to win re-election with the jobless rate above 6 percent. The U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October as the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent.

On Friday, December 7, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases their monthly jobs report, and with the extreme weather brought by Hurricane Sandy as well as the annual winter jobs slow down, the number of jobs created in November may paint an even bleaker picture of the current employment climate.

A rare mix of Hurricane Sandy, a Category 2 storm, an unusually early winter storm coming from the West, a fierce Arctic air mass coming from the North, in addition to a full moon and associated high tides at the time Sandy hit, resulted in what some termed a Frankenstorm that affected the entire eastern United States. While a matter of debate, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo argued that Hurricane Sandy had a greater economic impact, destroyed or damaged more units of housing, affected more businesses and caused more customers to lose power, than Hurricane Katrina. A report in the New York Times debates this, however the effects of Sandy on the local and national economy and employment situation are clearly massive and are still being tallied. To gain some insight into the impact of this natural disaster on local employment, we analyzed the job postings in some of the states most affected by Sandy, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. This analysis paints a striking picture of how employment in these states displayed significant decline during the storm and immediate aftermath as residents and businesses alike understandably shifted priorities.

Despite all of these factors, Bright predicts a relatively strong November in which 203,000 jobs were created. If Obama as well as the rest of the country can weather this Frankenstorm of a November, the employment climate ahead might prove Bright after all.

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Bright predicts 228,000 jobs created in October 2012

The presidential candidates have been eagerly awaiting the Bright Employment Index for October. This is the last time Bright will publish this data before next Tuesday’s general election, and we expect our release of this data to greatly impact the vote of the undecided voter (singular intentional) in Ohio. So, Sue from Ohio, we can tell you that the job market is about the same as it has been in recent months.

To recap, Bright aggregates active job listings from many different places. We typically have about 50 to 60% of the advertised available jobs in our searchable job database. In October, we had over 3 million unique job vacancies listed on Bright from a broad selection of employment sectors and all 50 states. We have noticed this year that the number of active listings seems to correlate quite strongly with the net nonfarm payroll employment number published on the first Friday of the month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Our model calculates the correlation between vacancies on Bright and the previous BLS reports and uses this correlation model to predict the upcoming job report. Based on our data, we expect the BLS to report 228,000 net jobs created last month.

Interestingly, our model shows a significant departure last month from the preliminary BLS employment report data for September 2012. We expect our model to be within 50,000 jobs of the BLS number, but last month’s departure is significantly larger. If the correlation between vacancies and net job creation holds, we expect the BLS to report an upward revision for the September numbers tomorrow — the BLS provides two preliminary measurements before finalizing the nonfarm payroll number for a given month (i.e. the August 2012 number will be finalized tomorrow, and there will be a revision of the September 2012 number).

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Bright predicts an employment upswing in September 2012

Here at Bright, we believe data science will change the way the world hires.

Over the past several months, we've been observing how the number of job vacancies nationwide is a strong indicator of payroll-based estimates of national employment. It's a simple hypothesis: if there are more businesses hiring, there should be more people being hired.

The Bright Employment Index (BEI) is a live snapshot of actual job vacancies in the US today, whereas The Bureau of Labor Statistics takes 100-150k surveys of businesses, and the ADP figure examines actual payroll figures from their books. Thus, the monthly BEI result, while likely interwoven with and often proximate to other measures, should be viewed as a novel metric of national employment. In September, our data indicates an increase in employment of 243,000 jobs.

But tracking the overall job market with the Bright Employment Index is just a small part of our vision of how we can present a rich picture of how, where and why hiring is happening. Read on for a more in-depth analysis of the trends we noticed this September.

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The Brightest cities of September 2012

September numbers are strong compared to August and many cities experienced substantial growth as indicated by a percentage increase in available jobs. In this post we will explain which cities fared best in September 2012.

Brightest Cities: September 2012 Percent Change

Of the ten largest US cities (we always throw in San Francisco too--hometown pride!), San Francisco, CA showed the largest increase from August (22.07%), followed by San Antonio, TX (8.09%).

In addition, several cities with smaller populations also performed well in September. Of note are Shorline, WA (335.00%), which also showed the highest overall increase across the nation, Irondequoit, NY (167.74%), York, ME (157.69%), Miami Gardens, FL (113.16%), and Yolo, CA (112.00%). Hover over the above graph to see if your home town made the top 75 in August.

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The Brightest sectors of September 2012

September figures are relatively strong and eighteen sectors superseded August as indicated by percent change, indicating that these industries were stronger in September. In this post we will explore which sectors fared best in September 2012.

Brightest Cities by Industry: September Percent Change

Industry: Professional Services

Industry: Telecommunications

Industry: Financial Services

Industry: Healthcare

Industry: Education

Industry: Hospitality

Industry: Tech

Industry: Media

Industry: Government

Industry: Transportation

Industry: Agriculture

Industry: Education / Teaching / Administration

Hover over the above plot to explore the top ten large and smaller cities for each industry.

For September, the twelve sectors that out-performed August most as well as the highest performing large and small cities for that sector were:

IndustryTop Large CityTop Small City
Professional Services (378.03%)San Diego, CA (41.18%)North Carleston, SC (374.07%)
Telecommunications (289.55%)Chicago, IL (83.33%)Andover, MA (245.45%)
Financial Services (287.02%)Phoenix, AZ (8.82%)Arvada, CO (357.69%)
Healthcare (254.51%)Los Angeles, CA (16.67%)Lakewood, WA (532.00%)
Education (218.03%)Phoenix, AZ (200.00%)Lady Lake, FL (232.94%)
Hospitality (209.69%)Los Angeles, CA (400.00%)Jacksonville, FL (400.00%)
Tech (190.49%)San Francisco, CA (58.33%)Everette, WA (591.30%)
Media (178.58%)San Diego, CA (90.00%)Hillsboro, OR (200.00%)
Government (167.89%)San Diego, CA (100.00%)Mobile, AL (400.00%)
Transportation (132.31%)Phoenix, AZ (50.00%)San Marcos, TX (227.78%)
Agriculture (125.57%)San Francisco, CA (62.50%)Seattle, WA (507.69%)
Teaching / AdministrationLos Angeles, CA (166.67%)Jacksonville, FL (250.00%)

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Bright predicts an employment downturn in August 2012

Here at Bright, we believe data science will change the way the world hires.

Over the past several months, we've been observing how the number of job vacancies nationwide is a strong indicator of payroll-based estimates of national employment. It's a simple hypothesis: if there are more businesses hiring, there should be more people getting hired.

Since June, we've been using our job posting data as a model of the employment market overall to predict in advance the number of jobs created in a given month. In August, our data indicates an increase in employment of 160,000 jobs.

While this is modestly lower than the July prediction, employment is still up from the sluggish months of April, May and June. We're also pleased that the Bright Employment Index has also proven highly indicative of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. For reference, we have also included the industry-consensus (black) and ADP (green, September 3) predictions. At Bright we have predicted the trend of the BLS figure every month in 2012, while the industry-consensus figure as well as those of other companies have not fared as well.

But tracking the overall job market with the Bright Employment Index is just a small part of our vision of how we can present a rich picture of how, where and why hiring is happening. Read on for a more in-depth analysis of the trends we noticed this August.

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The Brightest cities of August 2012

Despite the overall downturn in August compared to July, many cities experienced substantial growth as indicated by a percentage increase in available jobs. In this post we will explain which cities fared best in August 2012.

Brightest Cities: August 2012 Percent Change

Of the ten largest US cities (we always throw in San Francisco too--hometown pride!), San Diego, CA showed the largest increase from July (104.77%), followed by San Francisco, CA (28.88%), San Antonio, TX (19.05%), and San Jose, CA (13.34%)-- oddly, all have San as a prefix. Will the New Orleans Saints have a strong September as well?

In addition, several cities with smaller populations also performed well in August. Of note are Norfolk, MA (150.00%), which also showed the highest overall increase across the nation, Tamerac, FL (97.92%), Coon Rapids, MN (78.63%), Islip, NY (71.43%), and Kettering, OH (69.61%). Hover over the above graph to see if your home town made the top 75 in August.

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The Brightest sectors of August 2012

While July figures were relatively strong, in August twelve sectors superseded July as indicated by percent change, indicating that these industries were even stronger in August. In this post we will explore which sectors fared best in August 2012.

Brightest Cities by Industry: August Percent Change

Industry: Financial Services

Industry: Tech

Industry: Professional Services

Industry: Agriculture

Industry: Industrial

Industry: Education

Industry: Healthcare

Industry: Construction

Industry: Restaurant

Industry: Manufacturing

Industry: Food

Industry: Chemical

Hover over the above plot to explore the top ten large and smaller cities for each industry.

For August, the twelve sectors that out performed July as well as the highest performing large and small cities for that sector were:

IndustryTop Large CityTop Small City
Financial Services (76.03%)Los Angeles, CA (178.95%)Basking Ridge, NJ (397.78%)
Tech (53.02%)San Jose, CA (228.57%)Burlington, MA (515.79%)
Professional Services (46.28%)Philadelphia, PA (88.24%)Everette, WA (462.07%)
Agriculture (44.41%)San Diego, CA (250.00%)Las Vegas, NV (380.00%)
Industrial (44.31%)San Francisco, CA (100.00%)Fort Worth, TX (200.00%)
Education (41.05%)Dallas, TX (100.00%)Cambridge, MA (73.68%)
Healthcare (34.93%)Philadelphia, PA (181.48%)Ottowa, IL (1084.29%)
Construction (6.83%)San Francisco, CA (60.00%)Liberty, MO (260.81%)
Restaurant (5.82%)San Antonio, TX (200.00%)Ann Arbor, MI (209.09%)
Manufacturing (4.38%)San Jose, CA (35.71%)Hialeah, FL (333.33%)
Food (0.82%)San Jose (300.00%)Buffalo, NY (250.00%)
Chemical (0.48%)Philadelphia, PA (100.00%)Wilmington, DE (40.00%)

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Bright predicts a pleasant surprise for the July 2012 jobs report

For both Washington politicians and Wall Street traders, the most eagerly anticipated day each month is 8:30 AM on the first Friday of the month, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases its monthly jobs report. Our ongoing goal at Bright is to shorten the wait for the jobs report by using our jobs data to accurately predict this figure each month

The Bright Employment Index is derived from over ten times the information as the BLS figure and will be released prior to each monthly BLS report, in order to provide the most accurate and timely figures available.

Bright aggregates about half of the jobs available in the United States at any given time, providing potential candidates one of the largest databases of available jobs. We have multiple job sources that span a large variety of industries. In any given month, we have between 1.5 million and 2.5 million unique positions listed on Bright.

Given the amount of data we index, we have noticed a statistically significant and interesting correlation in recent months. In 2012, we have seen a strong correlation between the number of jobs listed on Bright (a proxy for the total number of jobs being advertised) and the net jobs created in the U.S. This is a very simplified metric as the rate of net job creation is actually the difference between two large numbers (around 4 million people start a new job each month, and about 4 million people leave their old job). One would not expect the net job creation to be generally aligned with the number of active listings except in a labor market where there is a large supply of workers for every available job. Unfortunately, that is our current situation.

For July, we saw very robust advertising by employers over 2.2 million unique jobs were listed on Bright. Utilizing the Bright Employment Index and a linear regression model, on August 1, 2012 we successfully predicted the upward trend in employment as published by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics on August 3.

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The Brightest cities of July 2012

With the substantial increase in available jobs in July compared to June, many locations experienced strong growth as indicated by a percentage increase over June's figures. In this post we will explain which cities fared best in July 2012.

Brightest Cities: July Percent Change

Of the ten largest US cities (we also threw in San Francisco for a little hometown pride), Los Angeles, CA showed the largest increase from July (83.80%), followed by New York, NY (68.50%), Phoenix, AZ (68.49%), and San Antonio, TX (60.65%).

In addition, several cities with smaller populations also performed well in July. Of note are Jackson, NJ (279.53%), which also showed the highest overall increase across the nation, Apple Valley, CA (230.51%), Ontario, NY (226.67%), La Habra, CA (222.22%), and Diamond Bar, CA (207.78%). Hover over the above graph to see if your home town made the top 75 in July.

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The Brightest sectors of July 2012

A relatively strong July coupled with a weak June, led to thirty six sectors showing a percentage increase - yes thirty six. In this post we will explain which sectors fared best in July 2012.

Thirty six sectors showed improvement over June; for the current analysis, we will focus on the top twelve performing industries. However, we invite you to examine the other industries for yourself in our Bright Workbench.

Brightest Cities by Industry: July Percent Change

Industry: Government

Industry: Pharmaceutical

Industry: Professional Services

Industry: Healthcare

Industry: Government / Civil Service

Industry: Telecommunications

Industry: Financial Services

Industry: Defense / Aerospace

Industry: Food

Industry: Media

Industry: Tech

Industry: Transportation

Hover over the above plot to explore the top ten large and smaller cities for each industry.

For July, the twelve sectors that out performed June most as well as the highest performing large and small cities for that sector were:

IndustryTop Large CityTop Small City
Government (1025.95%)San Jose, CA (200.00%)Austin, TX (450.00%)
Pharmaceutical (308.32%)Phoenix, AZ (900.00%)Washington, DC(2200.00%)
Professional Services (245.21%)San Diego, CA (480.00%)Mc Lean, VA (900.00%)
Healthcare (212.43%)San Jose, CA (360.00%)Marietta, GA (1308.70%)
Government/Civil Service (198.54%)Houston TX (300.00%)Washington, DC (3233.33%)
Telecommunications (198.39%)San Jose (833.33%)Englewood, CO (929.17%)
Financial Services (195.24%)Los Angeles, CA (375.00%)Mc Lean, VA (883.33%)
Defense/Aerospace (165.09%)San Jose, CA (100.00%)Austin, TX (300.00%)
Food (142.00%)Phoenix, AZ (200.00%)Seattle, WA (600.00%)
Media (134.12%))Phoenix, AZ (600.00%)Seattle, WA (216.67%)
Tech (127.47%)New York, NY (300%)Green Bay, WI (450.00%)
Transportation (108.67%)San Antonio, TX (100.00%)Coppell, TX (466.67%)

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