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RISMEDIA, Dec. 9, 2008-The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI)(TM) declined further in November. The index fell to 102.9, down 1.6 percent from the October revised figure of 104.5, and down over 13 percent from a year ago.

“Thus far, the U.S. economy has lost 1.9 million jobs and the declines in the ETI suggest job losses could very well surpass 3 million by mid 2009,” said Gad Levanon, Senior Economist at The Conference Board. “The continued deterioration in the labor market will exert significant downward pressure on wages.”

The 16 month-long decline in the Employment Trends Index (ETI)(TM) is seen in all eight of its components, most notably over the past six months in temporary-help hires and part-time workers for economic reasons, notes Levanon.

The Employment Trends Index (ETI)(TM) aggregates eight labor-market indicators, each of which has proven accurate in its own area. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called “noise” to show underlying trends more clearly.

The eight labor-market indicators aggregated into the Employment Trends Index (ETI)(TM) include:

– Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get” (The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey)

– Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance (U.S. Department of Labor)

– Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now (National Federation of Independent Business)

– Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

– Part-time Workers for Economic Reasons (BLS)

– Job Openings (BLS)

– Industrial Production (Federal Reserve Board)

– Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)

The Conference Board publishes the Employment Trends Index (ETI)(TM) monthly, at 10:00 a.m. ET on the Monday that follows each Friday release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment situation report. The technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: www.conference-board.org/economics/employment.cfm.

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