Conference Board Confirms Solid Jobs Data, but Warns of Sequestration

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The Conference Board has released its monthly Employment Trends Index for the month of February, and it very much confirms the strength seen in Friday's nonfarm and private sector payrolls reports from the U.S. Department of Labor. Its index rose to 111.14, up from an upwardly revised figure of 109.93 in January. The February figure is also 3.2% higher when compared to a year ago.

Today's data confirms an improving employment environment. There is a warning though about sequestration, though. The Trends Index said, "However, even though the labor market has gained in recent months, the looming sequester is likely to slow the pace of job creation in the near term." Positive index contributions were seen in seven out of the eight components.

The rising indicators in order of largest positive contributor to the smallest were as follows:

  • Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now

  • Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales

  • Industrial Production

  • Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry

  • Ratio of Involuntarily Part-Time to All Part-Time Workers

  • Job Openings

  • Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance

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