The Welch Consulting Employment Index is 94.7 for April 2012, up 1.0% from April 2011 (seasonally adjusted). An index value of 94.7 means that full-time equivalent employment (from the BLS household survey) is 5.3% below its level in the base year of 1997, after adjusting for both population growth and changes in the age distribution of the labor force. The average annual change in the index over the previous three months was 0.9%. Thus the increase of 1.0% from April 2011 to April 2012 means there has been virtually no change in the rate of full-time equivalent employment growth over the first four months of 2012. Employment continues a slow growth trajectory.
In future months Welch Consulting will present more detailed analyses of changes in full-time equivalent employment by age, gender, race and educational attainment in addition to the overall Welch Consulting Employment Index.
Technical Note: Full-time equivalent employment equals full-time employment plus one half of part-time employment from the BLS household survey. The Welch Consulting Employment Index adjusts for the changing age distribution of the population by fixing the age distribution of adults to the 1997 base year. The Index also adjusts for population growth by fixing total population to its 1997 level. Seasonal effects are removed in a regression framework using monthly indicator variables.