The Welch Consulting Employment Index is 94.6 for September 2012, up 1.4% from September 2011 (seasonally adjusted). An index value of 94.6 means that full-time equivalent employment (from the BLS household survey) is 5.4% 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 index rebounded sharply in September reversing most of the declines experienced over the past six months; the index was 94.9 in March 2012. The index is now 1.4% above its level three years ago.
The Welch Consulting Employment Index for men is 92.2 for September 2012, up 1.6% over the past twelve months, and up 2.2% over the past three years. The index for women is 97.7 for September 2012, up 1.2% over the past twelve months, but up just 0.4% over the past three years. Although employment growth has been slower for women than for men over the past twelve months, men’s employment remains far below its pre-recession peak. Men’s employment relative to population, adjusting for the changing age distribution and accounting for part-time employment, is down 7.9% since early 2007.
Technical Note: Full-time equivalent employment equals full-time employment plus one half of part-time employment from the BLS household survey. The Welch index adjusts for the changing age distribution of the population by fixing the age distribution of adults to the 1997 base year. The Welch Index adjusts for population growth by fixing total population to its 1997 level. Seasonal effects are removed in a regression framework using monthly indicator variables.