Labor trends index signals slowing job growth

A monthly index tracking labor trends posted its largest drop in two years, a signal job growth could slow.

The Conference Board reported that its Employment Trends Index (ETI) fell six-tenths of a percent to 100.5 in April, the largest monthly decline since April 2009. Still, the index remains up 6 percent from a year ago.

“While employment is growing at the fastest rate in years, the leading indicators for employment are decisively flashing yellow,” said Gad Levanon, an economist with the Conference Board, a business research and membership group. “It is unlikely that the current pace of job growth can be maintained in the months ahead.”

The Labor Department reported that job gains in April were spread out among industry sectors with private sector payrolls increasing by 268,000, the largest monthly gain since February 2006.

Five out of eight labor market indicators aggregated into the ETI declined, however.