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Job market conditions improving

Posted on October 24th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

Nonprofit research organization The Conference Board released data that suggests employment could be on the upswing. The Employment Trends Index (ETI) compiles indices from variables that indicate job market sentiment and hiring trends in the U.S. The September index value of 114.78 was up from 113.98 in August. The value is also 6.3 percent higher than September a year ago.

To gain a sense of market conditions, The Conference Board factors eight indicators into the ETI. These include the number of unemployment claims, percentage of respondents who find "jobs hard to get," ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers, number of temporary employees and other industry and hiring data. This month, seven of the eight indicators were net positives.

The number of temp workers contributed considerably to the high score, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed more than 20,000 new temp employees added in September. The factor is an important indicator in the ETI because it tends to predict peaks in employment. Firms often hire temp workers to test the waters before introducing permanent employees. A boost in the number of temp employees can be indicative of higher employment in the near future.

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