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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI)

An aggregate of eight labor-market indicators that shows underlying trends in employment conditions. Data series: 1973 – present.

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) Declined in March

08 Apr. 2019

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Employment slowdown may be on the horizon

  Download the National Historical Table.

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) declined in March, following an increase in February. The index now stands at 110.98, down from 111.62 (an upward revision) in February. Despite the decrease this month, there has been a 3.1 percent gain in the ETI over the past 12 months.

“After growing rapidly through most of 2017 and 2018, the Employment Trends Index has been fluctuating around a flat trend in recent months, suggesting that employment growth will continue, but at a slower rate through the summer,” said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “Particularly concerning was the decline in the number of workers employed by the Temporary-Help Industry, an important leading indicator and component of the ETI, which declined by one percent in the past three months. The main trends in the US labor market – including growing employment and labor force participation, tightening labor markets and accelerating wages – are likely to continue in 2019, but more modestly.”

March’s decrease was fueled by negative contributions from three of the eight components. From the largest negative contributor to the smallest, these were: Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get,” Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, and the Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry.

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.

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org.

Employment Trends Index (ETI)™ 2019 Publication Schedule  (10 AM ET)

May 6

June 10

July 8

August 5

September 9

October 7

November 4

December 9

For further information contact:

Carol Courter 1 212 339 0232 carol.courter@conference-board.org

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Labor Markets Blog

About the Author
Gad Levanon, Ph.D.
Read full bio

Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic and labor market research, shares insights on labor market trends and the implications for business

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Technical Notes
Underlying detail, diffusion indexes, components, contributions and graphs

Press Release
With graph and summary table

National Historical Table
U.S. Indicators