U.S. Employment Resumes Upward Trend In July

The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index rebounded in July, following a slight decrease in June. The index grew in July to 133.77, up from 132.42 the month before, and is up 4.8 percent from where it stood one year ago.

“Those who have been following The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index are not surprised by the strong employment growth in June and July,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “In July, the rapid improvement in the index continued, suggesting solid hiring and further tightening of the labor market in the months ahead.”

The performance of The Conference Board’s index falls in line with data released by the Department of Labor earlier this month, which showed that employment increased by 209,000 in July. The unemployment rate for July, at 4.3 percent, was little changed from recent months.

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

All eight of the indicators monitored for the index contributed to its increase in July. From the largest positive contributor to the smallest, they were: Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers, Industrial Production, Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry, Consumer Confidence “Jobs Hard to Get” Percentage, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, Job Openings, and Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance.

filed under August 2017
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