The Welch Consulting Employment Index rose to 102.6 in August, its highest level since March, 2007. Over the past 12 months the Index has risen from 101.4 to 102.6. 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 1.2% 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 rose from 102.4 in February to 102.6 currently. The rate of change over the past year is modestly above the overall trend for the last 3 years of an increase of 1.0% per year. The most recent six months are showing a small decline in the rate of increase in the employment index.

In August the index for women rose while the index for men fell. The index for women rose dramatically from 105.3 to 106.0, setting a new all-time high. The index for women is up from 104.3 a year ago. The index for men fell 0.3 points to 99.9. The index for men is up 0.8 points from its year ago value of 99.1. Over the last three years the index for women is up 4.2 points while the index for men is up 1.9 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.