Labor index forecasts slowing job growth

A monthly index tracking labor trends has slipped, signaling slowing job growth in the United States.

The Conference Board reported that its Employment Trends Index edged down to 107.82 in November for the fourth decline this year. The latest reading remains 3.3 percent higher than a year ago, however.

“The Employment Trends Index remains weak and suggests that employment growth over the next several months is likely to slow again,” said Gad Levanon, an economist with the Conference Board, a business research and membership group. “Employment growth typically lags economic growth. And with the economy expected to decelerate in the current quarter and early 2013, a slowdown in employment won’t be far behind.”

The Employment Trends Index combines eight labor market indicators. For November, an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance pushed down the index.