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Index Shows Employment Growth Slow But Steady

job-marketFollowing the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report of ongoing—albeit disappointing—employment growth in August, another indicator of labor market trends shows continued steady improvement.

On September 8, The Conference Board released its Employment Trends Index (ETI) for August, reporting a slight increase from July to a reading of 121.29.

Compared to a year ago, August's ETI was up 6.4 percent, reflecting strong gains made earlier this year as monthly payroll growth topped 200,000 for six straight months.

"The strong increase in the Employment Trends Index in recent months signals robust job growth through the fall," said Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at the Conference Board, adding that August's lower-than-expected employment numbers "seem to be a one-month deviation from a stronger trend."

August's increase was driven by improvements in seven of the eight indicators used to calculate the index, the group reported, with the percentage of firms unable to fill positions right now contributing the most.

The index was also boosted by a drop in the percentage of Americans who say jobs are currently hard to get, which fell marginally to 30.6 percent in the Conference Board's latest Consumer Confidence Index.

Also measured in the group's monthly report are government data on initial jobless claims, the number of employees hired for temporary help, and job openings, all of which are reported by the government.

The one indicator not included in August's improvement was the government's weekly estimate of initial jobless claims, which hovered around the 300,000 mark throughout August.

 

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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