Rising labor index forecasts job growth

An index tracking labor trends has increased for a fifth time in six months as it continues to forecast job growth.

The Conference Board reported that its Employment Trends Index edged up four-hundredths of a point to 115.76 in December. The index has gained 5.2 percent over the past year.

“Despite the disappointing job numbers for December, the improvement in the Employment Trends Index is signaling solid employment growth in the months ahead,” said Gad Levanon, an economist with the Conference Board, a business research and membership association.

“With the labor force barely growing, partly due to the massive wave of baby boomers retiring, the job growth will continue to rapidly bring down the unemployment rate,” Levanon said.

The index aggregates into one measure eight labor market indicators.

For December, six of the eight indicators advanced.