The Conference Board Employment Trends Index Increased in January

Staff Report

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index increased in January, after increasing in December. The index now stands at 106.93, up from 106.59 (a downward revision) in December. The change represents a 5.4 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

"The Employment Trends Index continues its solid path upwards and shows no sign of slowing down," said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. "A strong US economy provides additional tailwinds to employment growth, bringing down the unemployment rate even further and encouraging more men and women to join the labor force."

January's increase in the ETI was fueled by positive contributions from five out of the eight components. From the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Industrial Production, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales, and Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry.

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.

The eight labor-market indicators aggregated into the Employment Trends Index include:

  • Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find "Jobs Hard to Get" (The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey)

  • Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance (U.S. Department of Labor)

  • Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now (National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation)

  • Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers (BLS)

  • Job Openings (BLS)

  • Industrial Production (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)

*Statistical imputation for the recent month
**Statistical imputation for two most recent months