Consumer confidence levels for an improved U.S. labor market have reached their highest levels since 2009 and the onset of the Great Recession.
This view comes from an article penned by analysts with Wells Fargo Securities who wrote that, “The number of consumers reporting that labor conditions were bad has now declined for three months in a row, a reflection of the continued robust pace of growth and the addition of more full-time jobs this year”.
The Conference Board, which is a non-profit business research group organization that draws its membership from around 1200 public and private corporations, is very often quoted as a source of statistical information. The Board provides monthly reports on various aspects of the economy including one on labor conditions.
The Conference Board, which also provides insights for business, released a report on the 18th of June in which it said that the Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased by
0.7% in May to 123.1, following a similar increase in April.
Amongst the statistics extracted from the monthly reports are figures that give an indication of consumer confidence in employment conditions. Analysts subtract the share of consumers who say jobs are hard to get from those who say jobs are plentiful, to determine the confidence levels.
The June figure was a negative 4.3%, down from the May figure of 6.6% negative. While these results indicate greater optimism, they also show that there is still a degree of concern.
The consumer confidence in the jobs market can be further underlined in the following comments from an executive member of the Conference Board. “The U.S LEI increased sharply again in May, confirming the outlook for more economic expansion in the second half of the after what looks to be a much weaker first half”, said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of the Business Cycles and Growth Research, at the Conference Board.
The forecast of future economic expansion, together the earlier Labor Department report that the average monthly job growth over the year to end May was 225,000 compared 208,000 a year earlier, should see continued growth in the number of jobs available.
Increased employment will no doubt boost consumer confidence further and with expanding payrolls, there should be an increase in consumer spending. Economists hope that the increase in spending will fuel further economic expansion which will in turn be accompanied by a further increase in job growth.