May ETI slows, still suggests continuing job growth

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The Conference Board's Employment Trends Index (ETI) slid to 107.69 in May from a downwardly revised 108.00 in April, first reported as 108.08, and is up 3.9% from a year ago, the group announced Monday.

The base year of the composite index is 2016=100.

"The decline in the Employment Trends Index in May is probably a reversion to trend after the very rapid increases in recent months," said Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. "With the economy growing well above trend, we expect solid job growth to continue despite the difficulty in filling job openings."

The decreasing indicators — from the largest contributor to the smallest — were: the percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now, percentage of respondents who say they find “jobs hard to get,” job openings, number of employees hired by the temporary-help industry, initial claims for unemployment insurance, and the ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers. real manufacturing and trade sales and industrial production made a positive contribution, 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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