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Rasmussen Employment Index Falls To 2011 Low

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Rasmussen Employment Index, which measures workers’ perceptions of the labor market each month, slipped a point in August to the lowest level measured in one year.

At 69.3, the Employment Index is down eight points from the beginning of the year and down 14 points since last November when hiring expectations peaked.  Generally speaking, a decline in the Rasmussen Employment Index suggests the upcoming government reports on job creation will be worse than prior months.

Just 17% of working Americans now report that their firms are hiring, while 24% say their firms are laying workers off. Those numbers are weaker than those found last month. 

Last November, the Rasmussen Employment Index capped four months of improvement by reaching its highest level since February 2008. At that time, the number of workers who reported their firms were hiring (20.5%) was nearly equal to the number reporting layoffs (20.7%). That was the best net hiring number (-0.2) since the financial industry melted down in September 2008. It also turns out to be the peak of the post-bailout era.

Since then, the net hiring numbers headed south ranging from -1.0 in January to -7.0 in August. With the exception of March, the latest results are the worst since November. It has been nearly three years since the number reporting that their firms are hiring has topped the number reporting lay-offs.

However, 30% of private sector report their firms are hiring, while 20% say they are laying off workers. That marks an improvement from July.

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