The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) Decreased in November

Largest one month decline since the Great Recession suggests caution in extrapolating the current trend of job growth

Dec 07, 2015, 10:00 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) decreased in November. The index now stands at 128.69, down from 129.75 in October (an upward revision). The change represents a 2.7 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

"Despite the strong numbers on job creation in the past few months, the Employment Trends Index posted the largest one month decline since the Great Recession, with five of the eight components contributing negatively to the index," said Gad Levanon, Managing Director of Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research at The Conference Board. "While two of the components – initial claims for unemployment and our forecast of job openings – suggest modest adverse developments, their levels are still healthy. However, the past month's weakness in consumer confidence in job growth and the slowdown in temporary help needs careful watching. Overall, there is reason for caution to not linearly extrapolate the current strong growth into 2016."

November's decrease in the ETI was driven by negative contributions from five of the eight components. In order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest, these were: Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find "Jobs Hard to Get," Job Openings, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, and Number of Temporary Employees.

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)**

*Statistical imputation for the recent month 
**Statistical imputation for two most recent months

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: http://www.conference-board.org/data/eti.cfm.

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Next month's release will incorporate annual revisions of standardization factors to the Employment Trends Index, which bring it up-to-date with revisions in the source data. These revisions do not change the cyclical properties of the index. The standardization factors, known as volatility adjustment factors, are done by calculating the standard deviation of the monthly percent change in each component. The period used for calculating the standardization factors begins in November 1973 and ends at December 2014. The standardization factors are then used to construct the index from November 1973 to present. As a result, the revised index, in levels and month-on-month changes, will not be directly comparable to those issued prior to this annual revision.


For more information, please visit our website at http://www.conference-board.org/data/eti.cfm

 

SOURCE The Conference Board



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