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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index rose to 119.06 in August, up from 118.20 in July (upward revision), indicating continued strong growth in the labor market. “But with headwinds in the rest of the economy already evident,” said Frank Steemers, Senior Economist at The Conference Board, “expect job growth to decelerate for the remainder of the year.”

The index’s increase was based on positive contributions from four of the eight labor market indicators, ordered from the greatest contributor to the smallest: 

  • Claims for Unemployment Insurance
  • Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get”
  • Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales
  • Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry

With a recession expected before the end of the year, Steemers predicted a slowdown in hiring and the number of job openings heading into 2023. But it doesn’t mean that attracting and retaining workers will get any easier. “Labor shortages may continue to be a challenge for businesses,” Steemers added, “and even if they ease during a coming recession, they could soon reappear after economic activity picks up again. Therefore, employers may try to hold onto their workers.”