After rising in June, The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index continued its climb into July. The index now stands at 128.28, up from 127.89 in June. The change represents a 1.6-percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

“The Employment Trends Index is still suggesting that job growth will slow in the coming months, despite strong employment numbers for June and July,” says The Conference Board’s Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America. “It is surprising that hiring has been so robust, given the current slow economic growth environment. Perhaps, economic growth is actually stronger than the anemic 1.2-percent GDP growth reported for the past four quarters.”

In calculating its Employment Trends Index, The Conference Board aggregates eight labor-market indicators that it considers accurate in their own area. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out “noise” to show underlying trends more clearly.

July’s increase in the ETI was fueled by positive contributions from five of the eight components. In order from the largest contributor to the smallest, these were: Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get,” Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry, Job Openings, Industrial Production, and Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance. Other indicators included in The Conference Board’s ETI include the Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now from the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation; the Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.