The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) fell further in December. The index now stands at 99.6, decreasing 1.6% from the November revised figure of 101.2, and down almost 16% from a year ago.
"During 2008, total nonfarm employment declined by more than 2.5 million and the sharp declines in the Employment Trends Index suggest that in 2009 this number could grow by another 2 million," said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "The continued deterioration in the Employment Trends Index signals that no turnaround in the labor market is to be expected in the near future."
"The 17-month-long decline in the ETI is seen in all eight of its components, most notably over the past six months in temporary-help hires and part-time workers for economic reasons," noted Levanon.
The ETI aggregates eight labor-market indicators, each of which has proven accurate in its own area. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called "noise" to show underlying trends more clearly.
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