The Conference Board Employment Trends Index went up from 118.48 in August (downward revision) to 120.17 in September, suggesting that employment growth will continue over the next few months.

“However, job gains are likely to decelerate from their recent pace as the US economy has weakened as the Federal Reserve rapidly raises interest rates,” said Frank Steemers, Senior Economist at The Conference Board. “In addition, most industries have recovered their pandemic-induced job losses, which is further bringing down the pace of hiring.”

Seven of the eight labor market indicators drove the index’s increase in September, ordered from the greatest contributor to the least: 

  • Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers
  • Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance
  • Job Openings
  • Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales
  • Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry
  • Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get”
  • Industrial Production

While a decreasing demand for workers may ease labor shortages, recruitment and retention difficulties are likely to persist. “The unemployment rate is only projected to rise to around 4.5% in 2023 and labor supply remains challenged,” Steemers added. “In this environment, wage growth may also remain elevated. Companies will need to prepare for continued labor shortages and further improve their sourcing and retention strategies to remain competitive.”