US Employment takes a Hit

By  USDR

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) declined slightly in March. The index now stands at 127.65, down from 127.77 in February. However, that still represents a 5.6 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year  ago.

“The growth in the Employment Trends Index slowed down in the first quarter of 2015,” said Gad Levanon, Managing Director of Macroeconomic and Labor Market Research at The Conference Board. “The combination of the disappointing March employment report and the recent weakness in the ETI suggests that the likelihood of a slowdown in employment has increased. Even so, it is unlikely that job growth in the second quarter would fall much below the trend of 200,000 jobs per  month.”

In March, the negative contributions from Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers and Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get” more than offset positive contributions from the remaining five  components.

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 recen t 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 a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performanceand better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United  States.

SOURCE The Conference  Board

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