Conference Board's Employment Trends Index Fell in June

By Justina Vasquez Features Dow Jones Newswires

A basket of U.S. employment indicators decreased in June, a potential sign of weakening job growth.

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The Conference Board said its employment trends index fell to 133.1 in June from its revised May reading of 133.3. The June figure represents a 4.6% increase from last year.

The Conference 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 out volatility in data to more clearly reveal underlying trends in employment conditions.

The report follows the Labor Department's release of its June jobs report Friday, which showed the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, up 0.1 percentage point from the prior month, its lowest level in 16 years. The rate suggests the labor market is near full employment.

"Despite the June decline in the Employment Trends Index, job growth will remain strong in the coming months. The decline is small and comes after a series of large increases since early 2017," 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 and cause stronger wage growth later this year.

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Three of the basket's eight indicators fell in June, with the largest decline coming from the "percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right row," which fell to 30 from 34 in May.

Write to Justina Vasquez at justina.vasquez@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 10, 2017 11:29 ET (15:29 GMT)