Job concerns weigh heavy on consumer confidence

November 25, 2015

WASHINGTON (11/25/15)--The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index dropped nearly 9 points to 90.4 in November, pushing the gauge to its lowest point since July of last year ( Nov. 24).

The step back also marked the second straight month of declines.

“The November number pulls consumer confidence back towards its overall downward trend for 2015, as optimism over the labor market soured this month, and as the labor force participation rate holds near an almost 40-year low,” said Jeremy Cohn, Moody’s analyst (

The present situation subindex dropped to 108.1 from 114.6, and the economic expectations gauge fell 10.1 points to 78.6 for the month as people expect to see fewer available jobs and suppressed incomes over the next six months, according to Cohn.

Furthermore, while a higher share of respondents reported that current business conditions reflected normalcy, 26.2% said jobs are hard to get, widening the labor differential to -6.3, its largest mark since the summer.

Plans to purchase a vehicle, meanwhile, climbed 2.6 points to 12.4, with the gauge largely driven by those who plan to purchase a used car in the next six months.

“Favorable cost of ownership, with low gasoline prices, continue to be a primary driver of the domestic auto market,” Cohn said.

Plans to buy a home dropped 0.6 points to 5.6, on the other hand, as “labor uncertainty and a lack of confidence in personal incomes” weighed heavily on major financial decisions.