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Job Growth 'Slow, But Steady'

August 7th, 2019

employment trends index 2014-2019

Solid, but slow job growth through the end of the year, is the prediction of the non-profit business group, The Conference Board.

The Board released its monthly Employment Trends Index Monday, which showed a rise of 1.68 from June's 109.3 reading. The Index now stands at 110.98.

“The Employment Trends Index increased in July but continues to hover around a flat trend since the summer of 2018,” said Gad Levanon, head of The Conference Board’s Labor Market Institute. “In the second half of 2018, the Employment Trends Index started signaling a slowdown in job growth. So far this year, job growth has indeed slowed down compared to 2018, which is not surprising given the modest economic slowdown and the recruiting difficulties associated with a tight labor market."

Now, said Levanon, The Conference Board expects, "Job growth to remain solid, which will be enough to further tighten the labor market. Growing labor force participation rates will somewhat ease these hiring pressures.”

The Index offers a short-term, forward look at employment trends. It pulls together data from 8 labor market indicators, crafting them into a single index. Among the data factored into the Index are the weekly unemployment claim filings, job openings, industrial production and the percentage of people who say they find jobs hard to get.

This latter component comes from the Board's monthly Consumer Confidence Survey. The latest release of this survey on July 30, showed a dramatic upward climb of 11.4 points. At 135.7, the survey is at the year's highest reading. Among the elements that go into developing the Consumer Confidence Index is the public's job outlook.

The Board reported that, "Those saying jobs are 'plentiful' increased from 44.0 percent to 46.2 percent, while those claiming jobs are 'hard to get' declined from 15.8 percent to 12.8 percent."

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