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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) Decreased Slightly in April

US Labor Market Likely to See Solid Job Growth Ahead

NEW YORK, May 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) decreased slightly in April to 120.18, down from 120.78 in March 2022 (an upward revision). "The Employment Trends Index saw little change in April, signaling continued steady job growth in the months ahead. Indeed, a relatively flat ETI indicates that the labor market is still expanding, but growth is not expected to accelerate in the coming months, as the US is likely nearing full employment," said Agron Nicaj, Associate Economist at The Conference Board. "The labor market is continuing to add jobs, especially in in-person services and in other industries that have yet to fully recover job losses incurred since the pandemic. We expect these industries to experience the greatest job and wage gains in the coming months as labor shortages show no signs of alleviating."

(PRNewsfoto/The Conference Board)

Nicaj added: "The unemployment rate is expected to get close to 3 percent by the end of the year, with little improvement in labor force participation. Employment is still down 1.2 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels, but The Conference Board expects 2.1 million more payroll employment gains this year. Wage growth will likely continue to accelerate as a result, adding further pressure on inflation."

April's slight decrease in the Employment Trends Index was driven by negative contributions from three of eight components. From the largest negative contributor to the smallest, these were: the Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find "Jobs Hard to Get", Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales.

The Employment Trends Index is a leading composite index for employment. When the index increases, employment is likely to increase as well, and vice versa. Turning points in the index indicate that a turning point in the number of jobs is about to occur in the coming months. The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight leading indicators of employment, 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 leading indicators of employment 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

The Conference Board publishes the Employment Trends Index monthly, at 10 a.m. ET, on the Monday that follows each Friday release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report. The technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website:

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what's ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.


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SOURCE The Conference Board

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