More and Steeper Job Losses Ahead

Conference Board reports bleak outlook on job prospects.

The Conference Board reported on July 6 that its Employment Trends Index fell by 0.6% in June to 111.9 from 112.6 in May and is down 8% since July 2007.

"Most leading indicators of employment point to an even sharper deterioration in the labor market in the months ahead," said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "The steep decline of the employment trends index in recent months, and the fact that its weakness is spread throughout all of its components, does not leave much room for optimism."

Total non-farm employment peaked in December 2007 and has declined each month since then, reaching a total loss of 438,000 jobs. "The decline in payroll numbers somewhat understates the weakness of the labor market. In addition to the jobs that were lost, the number of people who were working part-time but wanted a full-time job rose by 750,000 in the last six months. The decline in payrolls is still mostly concentrated in the construction and goods related industries.

Manufacturing, trade, construction and truck transportation industries shed 712,000 jobs in the last six months while the rest of the economy added 274,000 jobs," added Levanon.

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