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After dropping to 109.68 in September (revised), the Conference Board Employment Trends Index jumped up to 112.23 in October. This increase sets the stage for strong job growth in the coming months.

Six of the eight labor market indicators helped bump up the index for the month, ordered from the most positive contributor to the least:

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance
  • Percentage of respondents who say they find “jobs hard to get”
  • Number of temporary employees
  • Real manufacturing and trade sales
  • Industrial production
  • Ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers

The remaining two indicators — job openings and percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now — had a negative impact on the index.

“The increase in the Employment Trends Index suggests strong employment growth is in store over the next several months,” said Gad Levanon, Head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute. He predicted that spending and employment within in-person services will continue to grow, and the unemployment rate may drop to the pre-pandemic low of 3.5% by the end of next year. But “labor shortages may not go away,” he added. “In such an environment, significant upward pressure on wages may become the new normal.”