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The Conference Board Predicts Flat Job Growth Over Next Year

The Conference Board's monthly Employment Trends Index remained at the same level for July as for the two previous months. The organization says the index was 88.3, which is down 20.1 percent from one year ago. "The Employment Trends Index has been flat in the last three months," says Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "This suggests that we are getting closer to the point when employers are no longer cutting their work force. However, since we are expecting a weak economic recovery, and given the record number of involuntary part-time workers -- many of whom are likely to move to full-time positions before new employees are hired -- we do not expect significant job growth over the next year." The index aggregates eight labor market indicators: the percentage of respondents to The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Survey who say they find jobs hard to get; initial claims for unemployment insurance (U.S. Department of Labor); percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now (National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation); number of employees hired by the temporary help industry,  part-time workers for economic reasons, and number of job openings; (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); industrial production (Federal Reserve Board); and real manufacturing and trade sales (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The organization will release the August index on September 8.

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