The Conference Board’s employment trends index rose 1.0% to 93.2 in January from a revised 2.5% jump to 92.3 in December, originally reported as a 1.7% increase to 91.8, and is down 0.7% from a year ago, the group said yesterday.

“The continued rise in the ETI makes us more optimistic that job growth will resume in the first quarter of 2010,” said Gad Levanon, associate director of macroeconomic research at the board. “The improvement is widespread across all eight components. “In particular, Friday’s large decline in the number of involuntary part-time workers was the first time this component showed a strong signal of improvement.”

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