The Conference Board’s employment trends index grew to 105.81 in January from an upwardly revised 105.04 in December, originally reported as 104.32, and is up 5.9% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.

“The employment trends index has been improving rapidly for four straight months, suggesting somewhat more robust job growth is likely to continue in this quarter,” said Gad Levanon, associate director of macroeconomic research at the board. “Beyond that, we still remain cautious. We expect sluggish growth in economic activity in the first half of 2012.”             

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