In July the Welch Consulting Employment Index made a small gain of 0.1 point, moving up to 98.3.

There was a split in the rate of change between men and women, with the index for men making a small advance from 96.6 to 96.8 and the index for women ticking down from 100.3 to 100.2. With the shift in the last month to the favor of men, women and men have now seen an equal gain in employment over the last year – both 1.1 points higher than a year ago.  This follows very similar increases over the preceding 12 months (August 2013 – July 2014), when the Index increased 1.1 for men and 1.0 for women.

The Welch Index measures full-time equivalent employment, adjusting for population growth and the aging of the workforce. The Welch Index of 98.3 indicates that full-time equivalent employment is 1.7% 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 increase in the Index from 98.2 in June to 98.3 in July means that full-time equivalent employment grew at a faster rate than the adult population in the past month. The Welch Index is about 1.1% higher than it was one year ago.  Full-time equivalent employment has been increasing about 1.0% faster than adult population growth over the past two years (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.