New Economic Index Debuts On The Downside

There’s news – none of it good – from The Conference Board today.

In conjunction with a new index it began issuing today, The Conference Board said that the U.S. economic woes are going to continue and even worsen in the months ahead. This new Employment Trends Index was down in June and is off 8 percent in the last 12 months, standing now at 111.9.

“Most leading indicators of employment point to an even sharper deterioration in the labor market in the months ahead,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. “The steEconomic Trends Chart from The Conference Boardep decline of the employment trends index in recent months, and the fact that its weakness is spread throughout all of its components, does not leave much room for optimism.”

Before introducing the new index, Conference Board economists computed it back to 1973 using data from a variety of sources including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor and The Conference Board itself. (For the complete list go here.) According to the Board, the Trends Index “has accurately signaled every rise and fall in employment over the last 35 years.”

Why add yet another index to the dozens already out there? Says The Conference Board, “Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called ‘noise,’ to show underlying trends more clearly.”

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There are plenty of indices, measurements, surveys and other bits and bytes of economic data that are published monthly, including several of The Conference Board’s that have been around for years. But The Conference Board’s Trends Index is a new one.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

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