Labor trends index forecasts modest job growth

A monthly measure of labor trends keeps rising, forecasting continued job growth, albeit at a modest pace.

The Conference Board reported that its Employment Trends Index (ETI) rose 1.6 points in February to 101.7. With gains in each of the last five months, the ETI has advanced more than 8 percent in the last year.

The ETI combines into one index eight labor market indicators. For February, seven of the eight indicators advanced.

The increase in the ETI signals accelerating job growth over the next couple of quarters, said Gad Levanon, associate director of macroeconomic research for the Conference Board, a business research and membership group.

Levanon added a caveat, however: “With a shrinking government, a stagnant construction sector and a manufacturing recovery that has only a small impact on overall employment, overall job growth will still be modest.”