A basket of U.S. employment indicators increased in December, according to a report released Monday.
The Conference Board said its employment trends index increased to 107.10 last month from a revised November reading of 106.36. The December figure represents a 5.2% increase from a year ago.
Of the eight indicators the index takes into account, six of them — including percentage of respondents who say they find jobs hard to get, industrial production and real manufacturing and trade sales — were positive.
“The rapid improvement in the Employment Trends Index in recent months suggests that job growth is unlikely to slow down in the months ahead,” said Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at the Conference Board. With improvements in the U.S. economy in recent quarters and the recently enacted tax overhaul, Mr. Levanon said, “job growth will remain solid and the unemployment rate will reach lower than any rate since the 1960s.”
The Conference Board’s employment trends index, or ETI, 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 Friday release of its December jobs report, which showed the U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, a 17-year low. Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 148,000 last month.
Source: Dow Jones