Employment Trends Index Ticks Up Slightly


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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased slightly in September. The index now stands at 128.76, up from 128.66 in August (a downward revision). The change represents a 4.6 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

“While Friday’s job report was a disappointment, and the trend in job growth is probably slower than in the last couple of years, the Employment Trends Index does not suggest a negative shock will impact the labor market any time soon,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director of Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research at The Conference Board. “Slower job growth is more in line with the mediocre GDP growth of recent years, and also suggests that the very low productivity growth during that time is not sustainable.”

September’s increase in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from five of the eight components. In order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Job Openings, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, and Number of Temporary Employees.

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. 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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