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Employment Trend Index down

Posted on February 7th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

In January, the Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index (ETI) decreased to 109.38 from 109.47 in December. Last month’s figure however is still 2.7 percent higher than it was in January 2012, according to the research association.

“Despite the dip in January, the Employment Trends Index continues to signal a moderate improvement in the labor market,” said Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board. “However, employment growth has outpaced economic growth in recent months, and the ETI suggests that this rapid pace of improvement in hiring may not continue in the coming months.”

The ETI is determined by eight factors, six of which contributed to January’s decline. The percentage of respondents who considered finding a job hard, the number of employees hired by the temp-help industry, real manufacturing and trade sales, job openings, industrial production and the ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers saw negative numbers.

Despite January’s modest employment gains, hiring is still improving, even in an environment of slow economic growth. One sector in particular is seeing positive numbers.

The Institute of Supply Management’s service sector index was 55.2 in January, Reuters reports. While it was below December’s 55.7, a reading above 50 indicates expansion.

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