What's hot in the executive job market? The Executive Market Demand Index quarterly study of job listings by Exec-U-Net Inc., Norwalk, Conn., a center for executive careers, reveals that top growth by function during third quarter 1998 goes to finance with a 37% increase over the same period last year. This was followed by consulting, up 25%; general management, up 22%; sales and marketing, up 21%; information technology (IT), up 18%; and operations management, up 8%; Human resources was the only category to decline, down 6%. Exec-U-Net says that 1997 was the "Year of the Information Technology Professional" with an average growth in job listings of 58%. But by the third quarter of 1998 this average growth was down to 18%, and finance had overtaken IT as the function with the highest growth. This is probably a precursor to a slowdown in the economy as companies cut back on expansion plans and look more closely at managing costs to generate greater earnings growth, the study summarizes. Growth by regional area shows the Mountain States as the leader in job postings with 49% growth compared with the same period a year earlier. Other regional comparisons: South/Southeast, up 42%; Mid-Atlantic, up 47%; Northeast/New England, up 30%; West Coast, up 18%; Midwest, up 13%; Southwest, up 2%; International, down 20%; and New York metro, down 3%.