The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index (ETI) slipped to 109.38 in January from an upwardly revised 109.47 in December, originally reported as 109.02, and is up 2.7% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.

"Despite the dip in January, the Employment Trends Index continues to signal a moderate improvement in the labor market," said Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "However, employment growth has outpaced economic growth in recent months, and the ETI suggests that this rapid pace of improvement in hiring may not continue in the coming months."

The drop in ETI was driven by negative contributions from percentage of respondents who say they find "jobs hard to get," ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers, employees hired by the temporary-help industry, real manufacturing and trade sales, job openings and industrial production, according to the Conference Board.

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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