NEW YORK – The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index (ETI) crept up 0.29% to 108.34 in May from a downwardly revised 108.03 in April, originally reported as 108.04, and is up 7.6% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.

"While growth in employment has slowed significantly in recent months, the Employment Trends Index does not signal further slowing in the coming months," said Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "Employers have been very cautious in hiring in the past two months, but at the moment, economic activity in the U.S. is just strong enough to require a modestly growing workforce."

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, initial claims for unemployment insurance, number of employees hired by the temporary-help industry, job openings, and industrial production.

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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