The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index (ETI) gained to 111.20 in March from an upwardly revised 111.43 in February, originally reported as 111.14, and is up 3.7% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.
"Despite the decline in March, the Employment Trends index is still signaling moderate job growth in the coming months," said Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "The current trend suggests faster growth than the disappointing increase of 88,000 jobs in March. At the same time, 200,000 new jobs per month in the current economic environment is not in the cards either."
The dip in ETI was driven by negative contributions from four of its eight components. The fallng indicators - from the largest negative contributor to the smallest - were percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now, real manufacturing and trade sales, initial claims for unemployment insurance, and job openings 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).