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The Conference Board's employment trends index fell to 108.4 in September, down 0.8% from August's reading of 109.3. September's reading is down almost 10% from a year ago.
"The deterioration in the employment trends index has become very pronounced, suggesting that the unemployment rate may very well exceed 7% as early as the second quarter of 2009," said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "The persistent slackening in labor market conditions, worsened by the financial crisis, has reached a level that in the past led to significantly slower wage growth across most industries."
The index aggregates eight labor-market indicators into a composite index.