Conference Board's Employment Trends Index Rises in February
By Xavier Fontdegloria
An index measuring employment trends in the U.S. increased in
February, suggesting that the recovery path of the labor market
accelerated, data from the Conference Board showed Monday.
The Conference Board Employment Trends Index was 101.01 in
February, up compared with a revised 99.69 for January.
February posts the 10th consecutive monthly increase for the
index. The indicator is down 7.8% from a year ago, which was the
last reading before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the job market.
The release of the index follows Friday's employment report from
the Bureau of Labor Statistics which showed U.S. labor market
experienced the highest monthly job growth since last fall, with
nonfarm payrolls up by 379,000.
The increase of the index signals strong job growth in the
coming months, Gad Levanon, head of The Conference Board Labor
Markets Institute, said.
"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," he said.
The U.S. economy is likely to add between five million and six
million jobs through the end of the year, pushing down the
unemployment rate well below 5%, Mr. Levanon said.
The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight labor
market-related indicators to show underlying trends in employment
The rise in February was driven by positive contributions from
six of the eight components, which are the percentage of firms with
positions not able to fill right now, initial claims for
unemployment insurance, the number of employees hired by the
temporary-help industry, the percentage of respondents who say they
find jobs hard to get, job openings, and real manufacturing and
The ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers
and industrial production components didn't contribute positively
to the index in February.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 08, 2021 10:32 ET (15:32 GMT)
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