The Welch Consulting Employment Index was 94.5 in December; down from 94.6 in November. An index value of 94.5 means that full-time equivalent employment (from the BLS household survey) is 5.5% 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 had recovered this fall from the sharp declines experienced in the summer of 2012, but has fallen for two straight months. Moreover, the index is now below its level in March 2012. Full-time employment has not quite kept pace with population growth over the past nine months. The Welch Consulting Employment Index has grown by less than one percent per year over the past two years.
The Welch Consulting Employment Index, disaggregated by gender, is 92.4 for men and 97.1 for women. Both the indices for men and women are down slightly from November. Over the past nine months the men’s index is down 0.1% while the women’s employment index is down 0.8%. Over the past two years the men’s employment index has grown by 1.4% per year and the women’s index has grown by 0.4% annually.
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.