The Conference Board Employment Trends Index Increased Slightly in January

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index increased slightly in January, after declining in December. The index now stands at 130.04, up from 129.73(r) in December. The change represents a 2.4 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

“The continued growth in the Employment Trends Index suggests that job growth will remain solid and perhaps even accelerate in early 2017,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “In both business confidence surveys and hard data, it appears that businesses are becoming more optimistic and are more willing to expand their workforce.”

January’s increase in the ETI was fueled by positive contributions from six of the eight components. In order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get,” Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Industrial Production, Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry, and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales.

The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight labor-market indicators, each of which has proven accurate in its own area. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out “noise” to show underlying trends more clearly.

The eight labor-market indicators aggregated into the Employment Trends Index include:

  • Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get” (The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey)

  • Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance (U.S. Department of Labor)

  • Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now ( National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation)

  • Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers (BLS)

  • Job Openings (BLS)

  • Industrial Production (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)

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