The Conference Board Employment Trends Index Declined in November

Staff Report

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index decreased in November, after a sharp increase in October. The index now stands at 135.88, down from 136.23 (an upward revision) in October. The change represents a 4.7 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

"The decline in the Employment Trends Index in November comes after one of the largest monthly increases ever last month. The ETI is still on an upward trend and suggests that employment is likely to continue to grow in the months ahead," said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board. "The US economy has been accelerating in recent quarters, leading to strong labor demand that is unlikely to slow down in the coming months."

November's decrease in the ETI was fueled by negative contributions from three out of the eight components. From the largest negative contributor to the smallest, these were: Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, and Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers.

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)