The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index (ETI) crept up 0.51% to 108.59 in August from a downwardly revised 108.04 in July, originally reported as 108.11, and is up 6.2% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.
"Despite this month's rise, the Employment Trends Index has barely increased since February, suggesting that slow job growth will continue in the short-term," said Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "Economic activity expanded by less than a 2 percent rate in recent months, and this pace is likely to continue through the end of the year. In such an environment, it's difficult to foresee the economy adding much more than 100,000 jobs per month."
The increase in ETI was driven by positive contributions from four of the eight components: percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now, ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers, job openings and percentage of respondents who say they find "jobs hard to get."
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).