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New employment index slips

June 09 2008

The Conference Board released its new employment trends index today. The organization said the index accurately signaled all rises and falls in employment when plotted back to 1973. It has a lead time of six to nine months at peaks and zero to three months in troughs.

The index fell to 0.5% to 113.7 in May, in its first public release, from 114.3 in April. For the index, 1996=100.

"We forecast further softening in the labor market, a moderate rise in unemployment and weaker wage growth over the next three quarters," said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "Employers will find it easier to recruit and hire, and will be looking at slower growth in compensation costs."

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