The Employment Trends Index increased 0.74 percentage points in December to 107.10 from a revised 106.36 in November, The Conference Board reported on Monday.
The change represents a 5.2 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.
"The rapid improvement in the Employment Trends Index in recent months suggests that job growth is unlikely to slow down in the months ahead," said Gad Levanon, the board’s chief North American economist. "The U.S. economy has been significantly accelerating in recent quarters and the tax cuts passed by Congress will provide an additional boost to the U.S. economy in 2018. In such an environment, job growth will remain solid and the unemployment rate will reach lower than any rate since the 1960s."
December's increase in the ETI was fueled by positive contributions from six out of its eight components. From the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: percentage of respondents who say they find "jobs hard to get;" industrial production; real manufacturing and trade sales; percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now; number of employees hired by the temporary-help industry; and job openings.
The other two labor-market indicators aggregated into the ETI include: initial claims for unemployment insurance and the ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers.