Solid Job Growth to Continue Tightening the Labor Market


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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) increased in April, after increasing in March. The index now stands at 108.08, up from 107.37 (a downward revision) in March. The change represents a 4.9% gain in the ETI compared to a year ago. 

“In recent months, the Employment Trends Index continued to improve, signaling that employment growth will remain solid through the summer,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “With the economy growing well above trend, and the working-age population barely growing at all, we expect the labor market to significantly tighten in the coming year. At 3.9%, the unemployment rate is historically low, and we expect it to be around 3.5% a year from now.” 

April’s increase in the ETI was fueled by positive contributions from seven out of the eight components, with one component’s contribution being neutral. From the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: Industrial Production, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get,” Job Openings, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry, and Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers. The Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now made a neutral contribution. 

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.

About The Conference Board 

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. Winner of the Consensus Economics 2016 Forecast Accuracy Award (U.S.), The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org

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