The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) decreased 0.18 percent in March to 107.28, down from the revised figure of 107.47 in February. The March figure is still up over 5 percent (5.2) from the same month a year ago.
“After five months of strong growth, the ETI declined slightly in March,” said Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “Together with the disappointing job growth released on Friday, and only moderate improvement in economic activity in recent months, it seems that employment growth in December to February, averaging almost 250,000 a month, may not be a sustainable trend.”
March’s decline in the ETI was driven by negative contributions from three of the eight components. The declining indicators – beginning with the largest negative contributor – were Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get” and Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry.
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.