The Conference Board has just released its Employment Trends Index, which showed that the November data edged lower. With the report coming after Friday’s key unemployment rate and payrolls data, this report may be overlooked by many market participants. There is something that really ought to be paid attention to though: the report indicates that the six-month growth rate fell into negative territory for the first time since September of 2009. This was also the fourth decline seen in 2012.
Today’s Employment Trends Index fell to 107.82 in November, after having been revised downward in October with its adjusted reading of 107.84. What is interesting is that despite the negative trends, it is 3.3% higher than a year ago.
What the Conference Board is suggesting is that employment growth over the next several months is likely to slow again. With the debate raging over the coming fiscal cliff and with U.S. data looking like very anemic growth, this is not good news for the real labor force. The driving force behind the drop in November was a large negative contribution from initial claims for unemployment insurance.
The full report can be accessed here, with a breakdown of each of the eight components.
JON C. OGG