Online job recruiting in Los Angeles County fell slightly in December as holiday season hiring tapered off, according to figures released from Monster Worldwide Inc.

Monster's local employment index for Los Angeles dipped one point to 103 in December from November, though it was three points higher than December, 2005. A reading of 100 is considered baseline for the index.

Overall, the three-point rise for all of 2006 was modest, suggesting a local labor market that has been constrained by weaknesses in the construction, retail and defense sectors.

In all, 10 occupational categories rose in December, while 11 declined. Among those showing the biggest gains were: personal care and service (9 points) and business/financial operations (2 points). The biggest losses were among healthcare support and computer/mathematical occupations, both with 6-point drops. Sales and related industries saw a two-point drop.

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