December saw the fifth increase of The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index (ETI) in the past six months standing at 115.76 last month; up from 115.72 in November. December’s figure is 5.2 percent higher than December 2012. The increase came thanks to positive contributions from six of the eight labor market indicators measured in the ETI. These include, in descending order: number of temp employees, the percentage of respondents who feel that jobs are hard to come by, job openings, industrial production, real manufacturing and trade sales, and the percentage of firms with positions unable to be filled right now. The remaining two indicators (which contributed negatively to the index) include initial claims for unemployment insurance and the ratio of workers who are involuntarily part time and all other part-time workers.
“Despite the disappointing job numbers for December, the improvement in the Employment Trends Index is signaling solid employment growth in the months ahead,” said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “With the labor force barely growing, partly due to the massive wave of baby boomers retiring, this job growth will continue to rapidly bring down the unemployment rate.”
The Conference Board ETI is published monthly following the release of the employment situation report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The full technical report is available at The Conference Board’s website.