Labor trends index decreases

A monthly index tracking labor trends has declined for the third time in four months, suggesting that job growth could weaken in the fourth quarter and beyond.

The Conference Board reported that its Employment Trends Index slipped almost four-tenths of a point to 107.86 in September.

“The U.S. economy entered a soft patch in the spring. And the result has been lackluster job growth, which is likely to continue through the first half of 2013,” said Gad Levanon, an economist with the Conference Board, a business research and membership group.