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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI)

An aggregate of eight labor-market indicators that shows underlying trends in employment conditions. Data series: 1973 – present.

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) Declined in November

10 Dec. 2018

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 Index shows some moderation in recent months

Download the National Historical Table.

NOTE: Next month’s release will incorporate annual revisions of standardization factors to the Employment Trends Index, which bring it up-to-date with revisions in the source data. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the index. The standardization factors, known as volatility adjustment factors, are done by calculating the standard deviation of the monthly percent change in each component. The updated period used for calculating the standardization factors is November 1973 to December 2017. The standardization factors are then used to construct the index from November 1973 to present. As a result, the revised index, in levels and month-on-month changes, will not be directly comparable to those issued prior to this annual revision. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.conference-board.org/data/eti.cfm

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) declined slightly in November, following an increase in October. The index now stands at 110.41, down from 110.73 in October. The change versus a year ago, however, remains positive with a 4.4 percent gain in the ETI.

“The Employment Trends Index declined slightly this month and shows some moderation after reaching its highest point so far in August,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “The gloom and doom views infecting the financial markets are an exaggeration. However, slower economic activity, tighter labor markets and higher labor costs are likely to lead to weaker job growth in 2019.  Jobs should continue to grow, causing faster wage growth which may in turn increase inflation pressure, and ultimately result in a moderation in employment growth by the end of 2019. As a result, we expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates this month and possibly three more times in 2019.”

November’s decrease in the ETI was fueled by negative contributions from three of the eight components. From the largest negative contributor to the smallest, these were: the Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, and the Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now.

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)**

*Statistical imputation for the recent month

**Statistical imputation for two most recent months

The Conference Board publishes the Employment Trends Index monthly, at 10 a.m. ET on the Monday that follows each Friday release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report. The technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: http://www.conference-board.org/data/eti.cfm.

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a member-focused think tank that provides trusted insights for what’s ahead. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

Employment Trends Index (ETI)™ 2018 Publication Schedule  (10 AM ET)

January 7

February 4

March 11

April 8

May 6

June 10

July 8

August 5

September 9

October 7

November 4

December 9

For further information contact:

Carol Courter 1 212 339 0232 carol.courter@conference-board.org

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Labor Markets Blog

About the Author
Gad Levanon, Ph.D.
Read full bio

Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic and labor market research, shares insights on labor market trends and the implications for business

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Download related PDFs

Technical Notes
Underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs

Press Release
With graph and summary table

National Historical Table
U.S. Indicators