The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) rose in January for the fifth consecutive month. The index now stands at 93.2, up 1 percent from December's 92.3, but still down 0.7 percent compared to January 2009.
"The continued rise in the ETI makes us more optimistic that job growth will resume in the first quarter of 2010," said Gad Levanon, associate director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board. "The improvement is widespread across all eight components. In particular, Friday's large decline in the number of involuntary part-time workers was the first time this component showed a strong signal of improvement."
January's rise in the ETI was driven by positive contributions from six of its eight components: Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find "Jobs Hard to Get," Number of Temporary Employees, Part-Time Workers for Economic Reasons, Job Openings, Industrial Production, and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales.
The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight labor-market indicators, each of which has proven accurate in its own area. Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out so-called "noise" to show underlying trends more clearly.
The eight labor-market indicators aggregated into the Employment Trends Index include: