The Welch Consulting Employment Index rose 0.2 in October, hitting its highest level since December, 2008. The increase reverses the small dip in the index seen in September.  The September value of the index is 0.4 higher than the December 2014 value of 98.0.

 The Welch Index measures full-time equivalent employment after adjustment for population growth and the aging of the workforce. The Index value of 98.6 indicates that adjusted full-time equivalent employment is 1.4% below its level in the base year of 2004.

The index increased for both men and women, with the index for men rising 0.1, to 97.1, and the index for women rising 0.3, to 100.5.  As is the case with the overall index, the index for men and the index for women are both at their highest point seen in 2015, indicating broad-based strength in the labor market.

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 has been increasing 0.7% faster than the adult population over the past year (after making adjustments for the aging of the U.S. adult population).

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.