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Employment Index Dips Slightly in April, Says Conference Board

May 12, 2009

NEW YORK — The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) saw a moderate decline in April. The index now stands at 89.5, decreasing 0.7 percent from the March figure of 90.1, and down 22 percent from a year ago.

"The outlook for employment is much less negative than in prior months, but still it is not likely that employment growth will resume before the final quarter of the year," said Gad Levanon, senior economist at The Conference Board. "In April, the Employment Trends Index recorded its smallest decline since June 2008, and three of its eight components actually showed an improvement."

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. For the month of April, three out of eight components of the Employment Trends Index improved. The improving indicators were Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance, Part-Time Workers for Economic Reasons and percentage of respondents who say they find "Jobs Hard to Get."

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