U.S. Conference Board Employment Trends Index increased in February
The index now stands at 101.01, up from 99.69 (an upward revision) in January. The index is currently down only 7.8 percent from a year ago, which was the last pre-COVID reading.
February's increase was driven by positive contributions from six of the eight components. From the largest positive contributor to the smallest, the components were: Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now; Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance; Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry; Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find "Jobs Hard to Get"; Job Openings; and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales.
"The Employment Trends Index increased again in February and signals strong job growth in the coming months," said Gad Levanon, Head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute.
"The combination of declining new infections, lower pandemic-related restrictions, households flush with savings, and large government stimulus will all contribute to robust growth in economic activity and employment in 2021. The economy is likely to add 5-6 million jobs through the end of the year, and the unemployment rate will drop well below 5 percent. When the pandemic hit, a tight labor market appeared years away, but it may reemerge as soon as 2022." ■