Monday, March 12, 2012

Employment Trends Index Reaches 3.5 Year High

"The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) increased 1.38 percent in February to 107.46, from the revised figure of 105.99 in January. The February figure is also up 6.1 percent from the same month a year ago (see chart above).

“The acceleration in the ETI suggests that rapid job growth is likely to continue in the next several months, despite modest improvements in Demand and Production,” said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “In the past year output per hour of work grew very slowly. If this trend continues, employment growth could remain robust even if GDP continues to grow at a modest 2 to 2.5 percent, as we expect.”

February’s growth in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from seven of the eight components. The improving indicators – beginning with the largest positive contributor – were Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get”, Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Industrial Production, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sale, Part-Time Workers for Economic Reasons, and Job Openings. The only negative contributor this month was Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now."

MP: The February ETI was at the highest level since August 2008, more than 3-1/2 years ago, and has increased in 29 out of the last 32 months since the end of the recession in June 2009.

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