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Economy in Brief

U.S. Labor Market Conditions Index Falls to New Low
by Tom Moeller  March 7, 2016

The Labor Market Conditions Index from the Federal Reserve Board includes 19 indicators of labor market activity, covering the broad categories of unemployment and underemployment. These include jobs, workweeks, wages, vacancies, hiring, layoffs, quits and surveys of consumers and businesses. Because the trends in the index are slow-moving, Haver presents only the changes in the index. All are measured monthly and have been seasonally adjusted.

During February, the index deteriorated to the greatest degree since June 2009, the last month of the recession. Last month's weakening runs counter to the improvement in payroll employment reported Friday, because it also reflects other weaker indicators in the report, including the stable unemployment rate, the decline in hours worked, the drop in average hourly earnings and the rise in the average duration of unemployment. During all of last year, the index rose moderately following a stronger performance in 2014. During the last ten years, there has been an 85% correlation between the change in the index and m/m growth in nonfarm payrolls.

The data are available in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Labor Market Conditions Index (SA) Feb Jan Dec Feb'15 2015 2014 2013
Monthly Index Change -2.4 -0.8 2.3 1.9 1.8 5.0 3.7
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