June 2013 Conference Board Employment Index Sees Softening Employment Conditions

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The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index – which forecasts employment for the next 6 months – again rose marginally in its June 2013.

  • The Conference Board believes future employment growth will soften;
  • Econintersect‘s own employment index is saying that economic pressures should lead to better employment numbers throughout the summer.

From the Conference Board:

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) edged up in June. The index now stands at 111.64, up from 111.59 (a downward revision) in May. The ETI figure for June is 3.8 percent higher than a year ago.

“In the second quarter of 2013, the Employment Trends Index grew more slowly than in the previous two quarters,” said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “Even though employment has been growing faster than expected in recent months, the current slowing of the ETI suggests that acceleration in employment growth is unlikely in the near future.”

June’s improvement in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from four of its eight components. The increasing indicators — from the largest positive contributor to the smallest — were Industrial Production, Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Number of Temporary Employees, and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales.

To add context to this index, the following graph compares BLS non-farm payrolls, the Econintersect Employment Index, and The Conference Board ETI. Econintersect uses non-labor and mostly non-monetary economic pulse points in constructing its index, while The Conference Board uses mostly elements of employment data.

Comparing BLS Non-Farm Employment YoY Improvement (blue line, left axis) with Econintersect Employment Index (red line, left axis) and The Conference Board ETI (yellow line, right axis)


The graph above offsets the Conference Board ETI by 6 months. Econintersect sees employment strengthening over the coming months. The bottom line is that jobs growth should strengthen.

Caveats on the Employment Trends Index

According to the Conference Board:

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)
  • Part-Time Workers for Economic Reasons (BLS)
  • Job Openings (BLS)
  • Industrial Production (Federal Reserve Board)
  • Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Unfortunately many of these indices are not accurate in real time being subject to at times significant backward revision.

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One reply on “June 2013 Conference Board Employment Index Sees Softening Employment Conditions”

  1. i just don’t think Detroit is going to make it.  i WANT Detroit to make it.  I’m rooting for them!  But as is so many of us “the cards are not stacked in our favor.”  of course who doesn’t love higher interest rates.  “that’s sound money at work!”

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