Slowdown in Economic Activity Not Yet Reflected in the Employment Numbers
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index(TM) (ETI) increased in December. The index now stands at 109.02, up from 108.19 in November. The December figure is 3.1 percent higher than a year ago.
"After posting a significant increase in December, following an upward revision in November, the Employment Trends Index is improving," said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "However, if economic activity continues to expand slowly in the first half of 2013, it would be difficult for employers to maintain the current rate of job growth."
December's rise in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from four of its eight components. The improving indicators -- from the largest positive contributor to the smallest -- were Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find "Jobs Hard to Get," Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers and Industrial Production.
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
-- 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)**