The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index (ETI) crept up 0.50% to 108.16 in October from a downwardly revised 107.63 in September, originally reported as 107.86, and is up 4.6% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.

"The Employment Trends Index bounced back in October, but only to the levels of July and August," said Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "This is still a weak signal. And given the recent sluggishness of economic activity, employment growth is poised to remain slow in the coming months as well."

The increase in ETI was driven by positive contributions from six of the eight components: percentage of firms with ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers, percentage of respondents who say they find "jobs hard to get," initial claims for unemployment insurance, number of temporary employees, industrial production, 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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