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His company, he said, provides a "real-time snapshot of jobs across the web," as compared to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which is historical.

Industries with the biggest recent gains in postings include automotive and transportation, both of which are coming off a low base.

Comparing December 2010 to December 2009, there's been a 137 percent increase in automotive postings, he said. He attributed the growth in part to Toyota's and Honda's reopening major Midwest plants, to the turnaround of GM, and the re-purposing of an idle California plant to build the Tesla electric car.

Manufacturing, too, is witnessing a major turnaround, judged by job openings.

"At the end of last year, there were 168,000 openings in manufacturing," he said. "When you think of all the talk about U.S. manufacturing having gone overseas, the growth has been incredible."

Postings at Indeed.com, a competing job search engine, show a similarly rosy picture.

The website offers job seekers various tools. With one, they can zero in on markets with the most job openings in their chosen specialties. With another, they can see how many people are chasing how many jobs in 50 different U.S. markets.

The best market right now for job seekers is San Jose, Calif., with 162 postings for every thousand residents, Indeed.com CEO Paul Forster said.

The worst? New Orleans, with only 25 per thousand.

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