The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index (ETI) gained to 111.76 in May from a downwardly revised 111.11 in April, originally reported as 111.68, and is up 3.0% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.

"While the increase in the Employment Trends Index (ETI) in May erased the small declines of the previous two months, overall, the growth in the ETI has remained weak," said Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "Taken together with other recent indicators of economic activity, the ETI is suggesting that a significant improvement in employment growth is unlikely this summer."

The gain in ETI was driven by positive contributions from seven of its eight components. The increasing indicators - from the largest positive contributor to the smallest - were number of temporary employees, job openings, percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now, real manufacturing and trade sales, percentage of respondents who say they find "jobs hard to get," industrial production, and ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers, 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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