January 13, 2010 – The Monster Employment Index Europe, a monthly analysis of millions of online job opportunities culled from a large, representative selection of corporate career sites and job boards across Europe, was unchanged in December, with offerings down 24 percent year-on-year, a much slower rate of contraction than reported in November. The U.K. saw the biggest jump in online worker demand in December, extending its growth trend to a third consecutive month, while the Netherlands and Sweden also noted a mild uptick in worker demand. Online recruitment activity held steady at the end of 2009, as businesses maintained their recruitment levels during the busy holiday season. Despite the flat reading, the Index noted three percent growth over the last quarter of 2009. In addition, the annual rate of decline slowed in December; offerings were down 24 percent compared to year-earlier figures, a more modest rate than seen in November. These factors combined suggest that the Index has reached a bottom, providing a positive sign for job seekers heading into 2010. “We saw considerable fluctuations at the beginning of 2009, but online hiring activity has remained generally stable over the past six months, following a drop from the highs of summer 2008. While it appears the Index has reached a bottom and the longer term trend is improving, it may take some time for widespread opportunity to return to the job market,” said Andrea Bertone, head of Monster Europe.