Conference Board's Employment Trends Index Rises in June for Second Consecutive Month

An index measuring employment trends in the U.S. rose slightly in June for second consecutive month as the labor market continued to recover from the coronavirus shock to the economy, data from the Conference Board showed Monday.

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index stood at 49.05 in June, compared with a downwardly revised figure of 45.27 in May.

The labor market is still far from making up all lost ground, as the index is down 54.8% from a year ago, the report said. In February, before the coronavirus hit to the economy, the index was at 109.27.

The improvement of the Employment Trends Index follows a strong employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, published last Thursday, which showed the U.S. created 4.8 million jobs in June, pushing the unemployment rate down to 11.1%.

The virus' recent proliferation, however, could derail these gains as many governments have delayed or reversed their reopening plans, which could lead to lower hiring, Gad Levanon, head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute, said in prepared remarks.

"Given the possibility of less recruiting and the fact that layoff rates remain high, the upward trend in the number of jobs may not continue. The unemployment rate may plateau or even increase in the coming months," Mr. Levanon said.

The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight labor market-related indicators to show underlying trends in employment conditions. All of them made positive contributions to the index in June.

From the largest positive contributor to the smallest, these were: initial claims for unemployment insurance, the number of employees hired by the temporary-help industry, the ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers, industrial production, the percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now, the percentage of respondents who say they find "jobs hard to get," real manufacturing and trade sales, and job openings.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  07-06-20 1030ET
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