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Conference Board Employment Trends Index declined in March

Staff writer |
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) declined in March, after decreasing slightly in February.

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The index now stands at 127.48, down from 128.54 in February. The change represents a 1.1 percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago.

"The Employment Trends Index has been showing signs of weakening in recent months, suggesting that employment growth is likely to slow through the summer," said Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board.

"With GDP barely growing at a two percent rate, it's difficult to see how employment can continue to expand by 200,000 or more jobs per month."

March's decrease in the ETI was driven by negative contributions from four of the eight components.

In order from the largest negative contributor to the smallest, these were: the percentage of respondents who say they find "jobs hard to get," percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now, ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers, and initial claims for unemployment insurance.

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.

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