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Worst of US job losses may be over: Conference Board

  The US job market continued to weaken in March, but the worst stages of job losses may be over, the Conference Board, a private research group, said on Monday.

The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index fell to 90.1 in March 92.2 in February, which was revised higher from 91.0. The index - which has declined for 20 straight months - is down 22.1% from a year ago, the Conference Board added.

“While we see a continued sharp fall in the ETI, the decline was not as strong as in the previous four months, suggesting that the most intense stage of job losses may be behind us,” said Gad Levanon, senior economist at the Conference Board. “However, the drops in each of the eight components of the ETI in March signal that many more jobs will disappear over the next several months,” he said.

The report comes after government data on Friday showed that the US unemployment rate rose to a 26-year high of 8.5%, as employers slashed 663,000 jobs under the strain of recession. (Reuters)