Fed's U.S. Labor Market Conditions Index Shows Weakness: Chart

The Labor Market Conditions Index being released by the Federal Reserve Monday condenses 19 different labor data points, including payrolls and unemployment, into an index that correlates strongly with the economic business cycle. Last month, the index dropped to negative 2.4 percent from the previous month; levels similar to or below this have only occurred in the months preceding and during the past two recessions, as well as during the 2002-2003 jobless recovery. In each of these periods, the Fed had either ended its hiking cycle (2000, 2007) or engaged in easing fiscal policy (2003 tax cut.)

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