Considering that unemployment is still up double digits and the unemployment classifieds ad revenue continues to plummet, it’s not all that ironic to learn that even recruitment site Monster Worldwide is laying off 200 staffers. The cuts represent about 3.5 of Monster’s global workforce, which is now roughly 5,600. The layoffs, reported by Boston Business Journal, come about two weeks after Monster bought rival Hot Jobs from Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) for $225 million. A Monster rep told the Biz Journal that the layoffs were not related to the Hot Jobs deal but reflect the strategy Monster has been pursuing for the past two years to “restructure, reorganize and reinvest.”
Since unemployment isn’t expected to be cut in half anytime soon, the issues of what to do next is something that all the recruitment sites — and their newspaper backers — are wrestling with. For a time, owning a stake in one of the three main recruitment sites was seen as a way for publishers to insulate themselves from the losses on the print side. But as Gannett (NYSE: GCI) showed in its Q4 earnings earlier this month, digital revenues would have looked a lot better had it not been for the poor performance at Careerbuilder, in which the owner of USA Today has a 50.8 percent stake.
For now, the recruitment companies can hope that a lower unemployment rate isn’t as far away it appears. In the meantime, they’ll continue to fight for a very finite source of revenues.