Conference Board: Index Suggests Reduced Payrolls

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index prolonged its steep decline in October, suggesting that employers will continue to aggressively reduce payrolls well into 2009.

NEW YORK -- The Conference Board Employment Trends Index continued its steep decline in October. The index fell in October to 105.3, down 1.8 percent from the September revised figure of 107.2, and down almost 12 percent from a year ago.

β€œThe sharp decline in the Employment Trends Index (ETI) in recent months suggests we will experience even greater deterioration in the labor market in the months ahead, and that the unemployment rate will continue to rise sharply well into 2009,” said Gad Levanon, Senior Economist at The Conference Board.  β€œThe economic developments of the last two months made it clear to businesses that demand for goods and services in the U.S. is declining, and businesses are responding by aggressively slashing their payrolls. Unfortunately, it seems this environment will persist for several more quarters and business leaders will continue reducing their workforce.”

The 15 month-long decline in the Employment Trends Index 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, notes Levanon.

Further details are available on The Conference Board website: www.conference-board.org/economics/employment.cfm 

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