By Daniel Bases
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A monthly gauge of online labor demand in the United States rose in August from July, led by jobs available in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry, the operator of a job search website said on Friday.
Monster Worldwide Inc, an online careers and recruiting firm, said its employment index rose 4 percent to 156 points last month from 147 points in July. The index was also up 6 percent from the same period a year ago.
The index saw annual growth in 18 of 20 industries monitored and 19 of 23 occupational categories compared with August 2011. The number of industries and occupational categories showing growth also improved month-over-month in August.
The agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry grew 13 percent year-on-year in August and topped the industry sector rankings with an index reading of 228 points. Transportation and warehousing also grew by 13 percent. Manufacturing and wholesale trade recruitment each rose 11 percent, while administrative support rose 10 percent.
Contraction in recruitment occurred in public administration, down 16 percent. Educational services industry recruitment fell 3 percent.
The report offered another look at the jobs market ahead of the U.S. government's non-farm payrolls report due later on Friday.
Washington releases the August employment report on Friday, which economists think will show only modest hiring, with non farm payrolls expected to rise 125,000. The unemployment rate is seen holding at 8.3 percent.
Monster tracks recruitment in 28 metro areas. Houston and Dallas were the areas with the biggest annual recruitment growth rates in August at 15 percent each. Orlando, Chicago and Indianapolis followed close behind with annual growth of 14 percent each.
The Monster Employment index is a monthly analysis based on a selection of corporate career sites and job boards. The margin of error is about plus or minus 1 percent.
(Editing by Andre Grenon)