Conference Board's Employment Trends Index Continues to Rise

By Ali Stratton Features Dow Jones Newswires

A basket of U.S. employment indicators increased in May, a potential sign of steady job growth during the summer months.

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The Conference Board said its employment trends index rose to 133.7 in May from 132.8 in April. The May figure represents a 6.4% increase from last year.

The board's employment trends index combines eight market indicators, including industrial production figures from the Federal Reserve, job openings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and jobless claims from the U.S. Department of Labor. The index filters data volatility to more clearly reveal underlying trends in employment conditions.

The report follows the Labor Department's release of its May jobs report Friday, which showed the U.S. jobless rate fell to its lowest level in 16 years. The 4.3% unemployment rate suggests the labor market is at or near full employment.

"While employment numbers have shown some softness in the past three months, there is no slowdown visible in the Employment Trends Index, suggesting solid job growth over the summer," said Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America at The Conference Board.

Mr. Levanon added he expects employment to grow fast enough to continue tightening the labor market.

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Seven of the basket's eight indicators rose in May, with the largest contribution coming from respondents in The Conference Board's consumer confidence survey who said they find jobs "hard to get."

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 05, 2017 10:53 ET (14:53 GMT)