NEW YORK – The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index (ETI) 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, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference 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 fill 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 in its own area. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called "noise" to show underlying trends more clearly.

The eight labor-market indicators aggregated into the ETI 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); Part-time Workers for Economic Reasons (BLS); Job Openings (BLS); Industrial Production (Federal Reserve Board); and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).

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