Labor index rises

A monthly index tracking labor trends edged up in June, but reflects ongoing weakness in the U.S. job market.

The Conference Board reported that its Employment Trends Index rose five-tenths to 100. The index has gained 5.4 percent over the past year.

“The abysmal uptick in employment in the past two months is not just a reaction to the slowdown in economic activity in the first half of 2011, but also a result of employers becoming downbeat about their hiring in the coming months,” said Gad Levanon, an economist with the Conference Board.