Employment trends improving


The Conference Board says the new Employment Trends Index for October takes a September turnaround and turns it into a modest two-month trend. Still, it’s considerably below its standing as of October 2008.

The ETI now stands at 89.3, up 0.7 from September’s revised figure. But comparing year to year, it’s 13.2 on the wrong side of 10/08’s 102.5 mark.

“The Employment Trends Index has likely turned a corner in September, and the historical relationship between the index and employment suggests that job losses will end in early 2010,” said CB’s Gad Levanon. “While layoffs have certainly declined in recent months, we still expect to see employers adding hours to their existing workforce before hiring will strongly increase.”

RBR-TVBR observation: It is a truism that for the economy to become truly robust, we will have to get much closer to full employment. The unemployed are a triple drag – they aren’t productive, they aren’t buying anything but bare necessities and on the other end, they consume government resources. It’d be great if a return to employment was a lead indicator, but unfortunately it follows improvements elsewhere. While CB doesn’t see improvement right around the corner, at least the worm seems to have turned – a necessary step on the road to a robust employment environment.