The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) Increases in January

Growth Rate Continues on Upward Trend, Likely to Remain So in Months Ahead

Feb 10, 2014, 10:00 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased in January. The index now stands at 116.61, up from 115.62 (downwardly revised) in December. This represents a 6.0 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

"Despite weak job reports in December and January, the Employment Trends Index is not signaling a slowdown in employment growth," said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "We expect solid job growth and rapid declines in the unemployment rate to continue in the coming months."

January's increase in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from six of its eight components. In order from largest positive contributor to smallest, these were: Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Industrial Production, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, Number of Temporary Employees, and Consumer Confidence Survey® Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find "Jobs Hard to Get."

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:

NOTE: This month's release incorporates 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 2012. 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 is not directly comparable to the one issued prior to this annual revision.

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