In another sign that the local economy may be softening, online job demand in Los Angeles County slipped in August as openings for technical and retail positions dwindled, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Monster Worldwide's monthly local employment index for Los Angeles County fell to 101 in August from 104 in July, hitting the lowest level since January. Despite the drop, the 101 reading is still above the 98 level posted in August 2005. A reading of 100 is considered the baseline.

Besides drops in technical and retail recruiting, the Monster survey showed weakness in the healthcare practitioners sector, the life, physical and social sciences, as well as office and administrative support services.

The sectors with the biggest jumps in online recruiting demand were community and social services, food preparation and serving, and healthcare support services.

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