The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) rose to 116.18 in April, up from 115.51 in March (downward revision), suggesting that job growth will continue in the months ahead, but at a slower pace. Despite this month’s increase, the index is well below its March 2022 peak.
Four of the eight labor market indicators aided the index’s increase in April:
- Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers
- Job Openings
- Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now
- Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get”
“Job openings and quits have declined, layoffs have ticked up, and compensation growth is softening,” said Frank Steemers, Senior Economist at The Conference Board. “Still, the labor market remains resilient and tighter than before the pandemic, complicating the Federal Reserve’s efforts to slow inflation. This may prompt the Fed to raise interest rates by an additional 25 basis points to decelerate job growth and wage gains.”
He added that The Conference Board is still expecting a short, mild recession this year, “although it may take until later in the year to see substantial weakening in job growth, or monthly job losses.”