The Welch Consulting Employment Index held steady in April at a level of 101.2. This is near its recent high of 101.4. The indices for men and women also remained at the same level as seen in March. The index remains near its highest level since June, 2008.

The Welch Index measures full-time equivalent employment after adjustment for population growth and the aging of the workforce. An Index value of 100.0 indicates that adjusted full-time equivalent employment is the same as its level in the base year of 2004.

Over the past 12 months the index has risen from 100.7 to 101.2. The increase in the Index over the past year means that full-time equivalent employment has been growing at a faster rate than the adult population.  Full-time equivalent employment increased 0.5% faster than the adult population over the past year (after making adjustments for the aging of the U.S. adult population). Looking back at the most recent 6 months, the index increased from 100.9 in September to 101.2 currently – an increase of 0.3%. The rate of change over the past year is slower than the overall trend for the last 3 years of about 1.0% increase per year. The most recent six months has seen employment growth in line with the slower growth rate of the past year.

The indices for men and women both held steady this month. The index for women maintained its level of 103.5, an increase from 103.2 a year ago. The index for men held at 99.4, up from 98.7 a year ago. The 0.7 increase in the index for men in the past year is greater than the 0.3 increase for women, but the pattern reverses when looking back at the past three years. Over the last three years the index for women is up 3.5 points while the index for men is up 2.5 points.

Technical Note: Full-time equivalent employment equals full-time employment plus one half of part-time employment from the BLS household survey (the Current Population Survey). The data reported for a given month is generally from the calendar week that contains the 12th day of the month. 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.