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News continues to look dire for the labor market. The Conference Board Employment Trends Index, or ETI, continued to decline in October. Down nearly 12% from a year ago, the index fell to 105.3 in October, a further 2% decrease from its September level. And the future isn’t looking good, said Conference Board Senior Economist Gad Levanon who predicts continued deterioration of the labor market and rising unemployment rates well into 2009.

“The economic developments of the last two months made it clear to businesses that demand for goods and services in the U.S. is declining, and businesses are responding by aggressively slashing their payrolls,” said Levanon in an interview published in Manufacturing & Technology eJournal. “Unfortunately, it seems this environment will persist for several more quarters and business leaders will continue reducing their workforce.”

Published monthly by the Conference Board, a global non-profit business organization that monitors and forecasts economic trends, the ETI is a compilation of eight labor-market indicators:

  • percentage of workers who find jobs “hard to get”
  • initial unemployment insurance claims
  • percentage of companies with job openings
  • number of temporary hires
  • number of part-time workers working for economic reasons
  • number of job openings
  • industrial production rates
  • real manufacturing and trade sales

Whether we like it or not, in a recession most businesses are forced to trim labor costs in order to survive. It’s happening in every sector of U.S. economy. From retail sales to office workers to manufacturing, layoffs are occurring, workforces are being downsized and retiring workers are not being replaced. This means fewer workers must shoulder greater burdens if production quality and output are to be maintained.

Ergonomically-designed equipment easily enables a single worker to do a job that may previously have required two or more workers when performed manually. By transferring physical effort from the worker to the equipment, ergonomically-designed carts and equipment movers allow business owners to effectively reduce their workforce without taxing their workers.

Ergonomic equipment is designed to prevent the expensive and debilitating musculoskeletal injuries that plague manual pushing, pulling and lifting tasks.  The introduction of ergonomic equipment and ergonomic practices into the workplace have been shown in countless studies to immediately reduce worker injury, decrease associated medical and insurance costs and improve worker morale and productivity.

To find out how ergonomically-designed equipment can help you maintain production values with a depleted workforce, talk to the ergonomic experts at DJ Products.