NEW YORK – The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index (ETI) dipped to 107.28 in March from an upwardly revised 107.47 in February, originally reported as 107.46, and is up 5.2% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.
"After five months of strong growth, the ETI declined slightly in March," said Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "Together with the disappointing job growth released on Friday, and only moderate improvement in economic activity in recent months, it seems that employment growth in December to February, averaging almost 250,000 a month, may not be a sustainable trend."
The increase in the ETI was driven by negative contributions from three of the eight components: percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now, percentage of respondents who say they find “jobs hard to get” and number of employees hired by the temporary-help industry.
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).