The index increased because employment, as measured by the Current Population Survey, registered a seasonally-adjusted increase of 111,000 workers between November and December.

Moreover, seasonally adjusted full-time employment increased by 427,000 as part-time employment fell by about 1%.  The Welch Index measures full-time equivalent employment, adjusting for population growth and the aging of the workforce.  The Welch Index is about 1.3% higher than it was one year ago reflecting the fact that full-time equivalent employment has increased about 1.3% more than adult population growth over the past year.  The Welch Index of 98.0 indicates that full-time equivalent employment is 2.0% 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 remained steady at 100.0, or about 1.2% higher than its level in December, 2013.  The Welch Index for men increased from 96.1 to 96.5 as full-time employment of men increased by 307,000 in the past month and men’s part-time employment was virtually unchanged.  The men’s index has increased by 1.6% in the past year.

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