Jobs numbers continued to rise in October, although the pace of growth continues to slow. The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index (ETI) ticked up last month, the sixth consecutive monthly increase since May. In October it stood at 97.57. While up from September’s 96.33, it’s down 11.1 percent from the year-ago level.

“While the Employment Trends Index increased in October, this month marks the smallest increase in the index since May,” says Gad Levanon, head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute. “Strong employment gains in recent months brought the unemployment rate to 6.9 percent. But the number of new COVID-19 cases is rising, and the pandemic’s relentlessness may potentially lead to governments enacting additional restrictions on mobility and slower consumer spending. As a result, The Conference Board expects job growth to slow in the coming months, leading to a slower decline in the unemployment rate.”

The Conference Board’s ETI 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. October’s increase was fueled by positive contributions from six of the eight components.