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Employment Index jumps to two-year high

The Employment Index increased 1.4 percent in November.

The Employment Index increased 1.4 percent in November.

People looking for jobs may be in luck in 2011. The Conference Board Employment Trends Index reveals the U.S. jobs forecast increased to a two-year high in November, an encouraging sign that businesses may be bolstering their workforces next year.

The index jumped 1.4 percent to 99, the highest level since November 2008. The figure also showed a 9.3 percent increase from one year ago. Although this is good news for the market's future, the Labor Department's recent poor payroll and jobless rate figures indicate that the current lack of jobs may limit consumer spending this holiday season. This may also have a negative effect on a homebuyers' opportunities for relocation.

Gad Levanon, associate director of macroeconomics research at the Conference Board, says, "The disappointing employment numbers released last Friday are at odds with most the leading indicators included in the Employment Trends Index," he commented. "While we are not expecting economic activity or employment to grow rapidly anytime soon, we do expect employment to continue to moderately increase."

The Labor Department's most recent state unemployment rates for October showed that Nevada has the highest margin of jobless individuals at 14.2 percent, potentially discouraging news for people interested in moving there.