April Employment Trends Index at 44-Month High
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index increased 0.8 percent in April to 108.04, up from the revised figure of 107.18 in March (see chart above). The April figure is 7.1 percent higher than a year ago.“The growth in the Employment Trends Index in recent months is signaling moderate improvements in employment,” said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “We did not expect employment growth in December to February, averaging almost 250,000 a month, to continue. However, the disappointing job gain in April (115,000) is probably below the current trend and should pick up to about 150,000 - 175,000 jobs a month through the summer.”April’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, Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get,” Industrial Production, Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales. 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."MP: The Employment Trends Index in April was at the highest level in 44 months, since August 2008, and the 12-month gain of 7.1% last month was the highest annual increase in more than a year. This is more evidence that the labor market is gradually healing, and we can expect improvements in employment going forward.