Solid Job Growth Expected in the Coming Months
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased in March, after a sharp increase in February. The index now stands at 131.43, up from 131.09 (a downward revision) in February. The change represents a 4.3 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.
“The Employment Trends Index continued to expand in March, suggesting that solid job growth will continue through the spring,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “The surprisingly weak job growth in March is mostly noise in an otherwise healthy and tight labor market.”
March’s increase in the ETI was fueled by positive contributions from six of the eight components. In order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Industrial Production, Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get,” Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry, and Job Openings.
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.
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Employment Trends Index (ETI)™ 2017 Publication Schedule (10 AM ET)