The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) Edged Down in May


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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) decreased in May, after five consecutive monthly gains. The index now stands at 107.69, down from 108.00 (a downward revision) in April. The change represents a 3.9% gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

“The decline in the Employment Trends Index in May is probably a reversion to trend after the very rapid increases in recent months,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “With the economy growing well above trend, we expect solid job growth to continue despite the difficulty in filling job openings.”

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

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)

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.

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