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Improving Job Market?

Economic Cycle Research Institute research points to a recovery in the U.S. labor market.

ECRI's coincident employment index, which tracks employment conditions by balancing out measures of labor conditions according to cyclical sensitivity, has been trending higher recently. The index rose to 118.2 in September from 117.8 in August and 117.2 in July.

"On balance, recent CEI figures show a distinct improvement in overall job conditions," said Lakshman Achuthan, ECRI's managing director.

The CEI peaked in January 2001 at 120.0 and fell to 117.2 a year later as the recession ravaged jobs. It then bounced along the bottom, revisiting that low in April and again in July, but is now at its best reading in a year -- a full point above its lows.

ECRI's leading employment index, which is designed to foreshadow movements in the coincident index, is pointing to further improvement, Achuthan said. The LEI rose to 128.2 in September from 127.5 in August and 126.2 in July.