Strong job growth

Employment is set for rapid growth in the next few months, according to the latest Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI). In May, the index reached 107.35, which is up 39.4% from this time last year and follows three months of the fastest growth in the history of the index.

All eight components of the ETI composite index were up last month:

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance
  • Percentage of respondents who say they find “jobs hard to get”
  • Industrial production
  • Percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now
  • Job openings
  • Real manufacturing and trade sales
  • Number of temporary employees
  • Ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers

“This marked acceleration suggests historically strong job growth in the coming months,” Gad Levanon, head of The Conference Board Labor Markets Institute, said in a press release. “Past index data had signaled growing labor shortages, but the most recent data strongly reinforces this trend. Indeed, 48% of firms reported an inability to fill positions in May’s NFIB survey—an all-time record. Job shortages are likely to be more acute in those states that opened first, less in those that still have restrictions.”

Levanon noted that the labor shortages have already spurred wage faster-than-normal wage growth, which, if it continues, “could significantly impact inflation and monetary policy.” The shortages will likely ease toward the end of this year.