Employment Trends Index Looks Better Than Labor Department Payrolls Data

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187980110The reading on the Employment Trends Index may seem like an afterthought, considering the disappointing payrolls report from the U.S. Labor Department on Friday. That being said, this report may also signal that the public does not trust the Labor Department data as fact.

The Conference Board released its Employment Trends Index Monday, showing an increase in August. The 121.29 reading was up from the revised 120.62 in July. The Employment Trends Index is up 6.4% compared to a year ago.

It was just over the weekend that we questioned whether the Labor Department data may have just been wrong. Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at the Conference Board, said specifically:

The strong increase in the Employment Trends Index in recent months signals robust job growth through the fall. The disappointing employment numbers for August seem to be a one-month deviation from a stronger trend.

The Employment Trends Index is an aggregate of eight labor-market indicators, each of which is said to have been proven accurate in its own area. By aggregating individual indicators into a composite index, the Conference Board aims to show underlying trends more clearly.

The Employment Trends Index increased over the course of August and made gains from positive contributions in seven of its eight components. The largest gain was made in the component of "Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now."

Maybe it is hard to draw any direct comparison to the confusing Labor Department report for August from last Friday. Still, it seems to be a bit more positive than what the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated due to seven of the eight components being up.

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