Conference Board Employment Trends Index Increased in December

New York — Jan. 9

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) increased 0.66 percent in December to 104.32 from the revised figure of 103.64 in November. The December figure is also up 4.7 percent from the same month a year ago.

This month’s strength in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from six of the eight components to the index. The improving indicators include “Jobs Hard to Get” responses from the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey, initial claims for unemployment insurance, part-time workers for economic reasons, job openings, industrial production and real manufacturing and trade sales.

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.”

• 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).

• Part-time workers for economic reasons (BLS).

• Job openings (BLS).

• Industrial production (Federal Reserve Board).

• Real manufacturing and trade sales (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).

The Conference Board publishes the Employment Trends Index monthly on the Monday that follows each Friday release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report.

Source: the Conference Board