Thursday, September 20, 2012

USA Employment Trends Index: "Slow job growth will continue in the short-term"

The Conference Board: Employment Trends Index

The August 2012 Employment Trends Index edged up to a modest +0.55 to 108.59 (preliminary), which is a post-recession high. This is the 13th increase in the past 15 months. The ETI has continued above the 100.00 benchmark for 19 consecutive months, after 27 consecutive months below (November 2008 through January 2011).

The ETI continues at historically low levels, below the overall average of 110.5 since January 2000. However, the reading has rebounded above the August 2008 level of 108.55, which was during the decline of the ETI into the Great Recession.

Employment Trends Index by Month The Conference Board Employment Trends Index reached another Post-Great Recession high of 108.59 in August 2012. The Great Recession cyclical low was 87.82 in May 2009. The Pre-Great Recession peak was 123.86 in March 2007.

Employment Trends Index by Year The Conference Board Employment Trends Index by Year is the average of the related months. The Great Recession low was in 2009 at 89 and the Post-Great Recession peak has been in 2012 YTD at 108 (preliminary). The Pre-Great Recession Peak was both 2006 and 2007 at 122.

“Despite this month’s rise, the Employment Trends Index has barely increased since February, suggesting that slow job growth will continue in the short-term,” said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “Economic activity expanded by less than a 2 percent rate in recent months, and this pace is likely to continue through the end of the year. In such an environment, it’s difficult to foresee the economy adding much more than 100,000 jobs per month.”


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