Employment Trends Index Gains for 5th Month
For the fifth month in a row, the Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) increased in February to 101.7, up from 100.1 in January. The ETI has improved by more than 8 percent from a year ago (see blue line in chart above). The Employment Trends Index is a composite index based on eight individual labor-market indicators.
Says Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board: “In the past half year, the economy has been adding, on average, about 110,000 jobs per month. The strong growth in the Employment Trends Index suggests that the pickup in jobs may accelerate in the next couple of quarters. However, with a shrinking government, a stagnant construction sector, and a manufacturing recovery that has only a small impact on overall employment, overall job growth will still be modest.”
February's increase in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from seven out of the eight components: Consumer Confidence “Jobs Hard to Get,” Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Number of Temporary Employees, Part-Time Workers for Economic Reasons, Industrial Production and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales.
MP: The Employment Trends Index has been an accurate leading indicator of trends in payroll employment back to 1973. The ongoing gains in the index and the 15-point gain since mid-2009 indicate that we can look for gradual, but ongoing improvements in payroll employment levels in the months ahead.