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Conference Board Warns More Job Losses Are Possible

Tuesday, 12 Oct 2010 10:40 AM

A gauge of the U.S. job market fell slightly in September, suggesting that job growth will remain slow and more losses are possible, a research group said on Tuesday.

The Conference Board, a private research group, said its Employment Trends Index fell to 97.0 in September, from a revised 97.3 in August.

The index is up more than 9 percent from a year ago, but just 0.6 percent up from its April level, according to the group.

"While continued slow job growth remains the most likely scenario over the next several months, the Conference Board ETI suggests that the likelihood of another episode of job losses is increasing," said Gad Levanon, associate director, macroeconomic research at The Conference Board.

"As employment lags changes in the economy, and with GDP growth forecasted to slow even further in early 2011, we may see negative job numbers next year," Levanon said.

Meanwhile, local government cutbacks were the primary culprit behind the surprisingly large number of U.S. jobs lost in September.

Friday's Labor Department report, showing a net decline of 95,000 jobs last month, was considerably weaker than what economists polled by Reuters had expected. The consensus forecast was for a virtually flat month.

Private hiring was only slightly below forecasts, and there were some bright spots in retail and restaurant hiring, which offer some optimism for consumer spending.

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A gauge of the U.S. job market fell slightly in September, suggesting that job growth will remain slow and more losses are possible, a research group said on Tuesday. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its Employment Trends Index fell to 97.0 in...
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