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The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) dropped down to 119.57 in October, after coming in at 120.73 in September (an upward revision). 

The ETI has held fairly steady since early this year, without a clear turning point in either direction. “Therefore, job growth will likely continue over the next months, albeit at a slowing pace,” said Frank Steemers, Senior Economist at The Conference Board. “Indeed, the labor market remains resilient with job gains still strong, but the Fed’s rapid monetary policy tightening is expected to have a more visibly negative impact on the pace of hiring by early 2023.”

Four of the eight labor market indicators led to the index’s decline in October, ordered from the greatest negative contributor to the least: 

  • Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get”
  • Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance
  • Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales
  • Job Openings

Steemers added, “A tight US labor market, understaffing, limited recovery in labor force participation, and an aging workforce all suggest US labor supply will remain a challenge for companies.” 

The Conference Board is predicting a US recession toward the end of the year, followed by a jump in the unemployment rate to about 4.5% next year.