Employment Trends Improve, Picking Up Speed In November

The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index continues its upward climb, picking up steam in November after turning in an increase in October. The index stands at 129.96, up from 128.95 in October and a 2.7-percent gain on its performance a year ago.

“The Employment Trends Index is showing some signs of acceleration, suggesting that employment growth will not slow down further in the coming months,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “Moderate employment growth will be enough to make the labor market even tighter, leading to more visible acceleration in wages and inflation.”

In calculating its Employment Trends Index, The Conference Board aggregates eight labor-market indicators that it considers accurate in their own areas. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out “noise,” revealing underlying trends more clearly. The indicators come from the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve Board and other sources.

The Conference Board attributes November’s improvement to positive contributions from six of the eight components. In order from the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry and Industrial Production. Also included in the index are Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get” in The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey, and Job Openings, reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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