The Conference Board Employment Trends Index Increased in February
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) increased in February. The index now stands at 111.14, up from 109.93 (an upward revision) in January. The February figure is 3.2 percent higher than a year ago.
“As a result of the large increase in February, and positive revisions to earlier months, the Employment Trends index is signaling an improving employment environment,” said Gad Levanon, director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “However, even though the labor market has gained in recent months, the looming sequester is likely to slow the pace of job creation in the near term.”
February’s improvement in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from seven of its eight components. The rising indicators—from the largest positive contributor to the smallest—were Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, Industrial Production, Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry, Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Job Openings and Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance.
The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight labor-market indicators, each of which has proven accurate in its own area. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out “noise” to show underlying trends more clearly.
The eight labor-market indicators aggregated into the Employment Trends Index 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)
- Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers (BLS)
- Job Openings (BLS)**
- Industrial Production (Federal Reserve Board)*
- Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)**
The Conference Board publishes the Employment Trends Index monthly, at 10 a.m. ET on the Monday that follows each Friday release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report. The technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website.