The Welch Consulting Employment Index showed continued strengthening in January, up from 99.2 from 99.0 in December and 98.2 in January 2015.

The Welch Index measures full-time equivalent employment after adjustment for population growth and the aging of the workforce. The Index value of 99.2 indicates that adjusted full-time equivalent employment is 0.8% below its level in the base year of 2004.

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 1.0% faster than the adult population over the past year (after making adjustments for the aging of the U.S. adult population).

When broken out by gender, both men and women saw a strengthening labor market in January. The index for men rose 0.3 points in January, from 97.4 to 97.7, while the index for women rose 0.1, to 101.1. For the past 12 months the index for women has been stronger than that for men, reporting a gain of 1.2 points compared to a 0.9 point gain for men.

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.