NEW YORK, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) increased 0.29 percent in May to 108.34, up from the revised figure of 108.03 in April. The May figure is 7.6 percent higher than a year ago.
"While growth in employment has slowed significantly in recent months, the Employment Trends Index does not signal further slowing in the coming months," said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. "Employers have been very cautious in hiring in the past two months, but at the moment, economic activity in the U.S. is just strong enough to require a modestly growing workforce."
May's increase in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from five of the eight components. The improving indicators – beginning with the largest positive contributor – were Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry, Job Openings 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 Labor Statistics)
- Part-Time Workers for Economic Reasons (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: http://www.conference-board.org/data/eti.cfm.
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SOURCE The Conference Board