Overall demand for executive talent decreased by 26% in the first quarter of 2002 compared with the first quarter of 2001. The effect of the stagnant economy upon executive demand can be seen across all job functions, particularly for Consultants (64%). Demand continued to slip for MIS/IT (42%), Human Resources (36%), Sales/Marketing (23%), Legal/Regulatory (22%), Finance (21%) and Operations Management (11%).
This quarter-to-quarter decline is not surprising as 1st quarter 2001 was a high point, just as the economy was slipping into a recession. Despite the slow down, these decreases are consistently less than seen in the 4th quarter, suggesting that the trend may be about to turn. The first function likely to see rebuilding is in General Management. Down 2% this quarter over a year ago, the trend looks much more positive compared to last quarter, when job demand decreased by 21% versus the prior year 4th quarter.