The Welch Consulting Employment Index shows a small decline in April, down 0.1 point from March, to 98.2.  The Welch Index measures full-time equivalent employment, adjusting for population growth and the aging of the workforce.  A constant index from February to March means that full-time equivalent employment grew at the same rate as the adult population in the past month.  The Welch Index is about 1.0% higher than it was one year ago.  Full-time equivalent employment has been increasing about 1.0% faster than adult population growth over the past two years (after making adjustments for the aging of the U.S. adult population).  The Welch Index of 98.2 indicates that full-time equivalent employment is 1.8% below its level in the base year of 2004, after adjusting for population growth and changes in the age distribution of the labor force.

The Welch Consulting Employment Index for women held steady at 99.9.  The Welch Index for men fell to 96.9 from 97.0, reversing the prior month’s increase. The men’s index and the women’s index have increased by similar amounts in the past year – 1.1% for men and 0.9% for women. While women have recovered most of the job losses suffered during the recession of 2008 and 2009, the men’s index is still 3.1% below its level in the base year of 2004.

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 distribution in the base year of 2004.  Seasonal effects for the share of workers employed in part-time jobs are removed in a regression framework using monthly indicator variables.