The Conference Board’s employment trends index crept up 0.8% to 108.04 in April from a downwardly revised 107.18 in March, originally reported as 107.28, and is up 7.1% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.

“The growth in the employment trends index in recent months is signaling moderate improvements in employment,” said Gad Levanon, associate director of macroeconomic research at the board. “We did not expect employment growth in December to February, averaging almost 250,000 a month, to continue. However, the disappointing job gain in April (115,000) is probably below the current trend and should pick up to about 150,000-175,000 jobs a month through the summer.”

The increase in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from five of the eight components: percentage of firms with positions not able to be filled right now, percentage of respondents who say they find “jobs hard to get,” industrial production, number of employees hired by the temporary-help industry, and real manufacturing and trade sales.

The ETI aggregates eight labor-market indicators, each of which has proven accurate into a composite index, which filters out “noise” to show underlying trends more clearly.

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