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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) declined slightly in August, following an increase in July. The index now stands at 110.62, almost unchanged from 110.72 (a downward revision) in July. The decrease marks a 0.5% decline in the ETI over the past 12 months.
“In August, for only the second time since the financial crisis, the year-over-year growth in the Employment Trends Index turned negative. And indeed, job growth has clearly slowed in 2019,” said Gad Levanon, Head of The Conference Board Labor Market Institute. “However, there is no reason to worry for now, since the stable behavior of the ETI is consistent with a slowdown in employment growth and is still far from indicating a decline in the number of jobs. Beyond economic growth, it is difficult to maintain strong employment growth in such a tight labor market. For the remainder of 2019, employment will continue growing at a more moderate but still healthy pace.”
August’s decrease was fueled by negative contributions from three of the eight components. From the largest negative contributor to the smallest, these were: Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, and Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance.
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.
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