Employment anemic but growing


The latest Conference Board sounding on employment trends finds that the movement is still in the right direction, and conditions are also better than they were at this time last year. But that’s about all that can be said on a positive note.

Oh, there is one more thing. The Conference Board Employment Trends Index stood at 99.5 in May. The June score inched up to 100 even.

It is significantly better than it was in June 2010, when it stood at 94.6.

CB’s Gad Levanon, Associate Director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board, explained, “The behavior of the Employment Trends Index in recent months is consistent with weak job growth, rather than an outright decline. The abysmal uptick in employment in the past two months is not just a reaction to the slowdown in economic activity in the first half of 2011, but also a result of employers becoming downbeat about their hiring needs in the coming months.”

The Board tracks eight economic conditions to produce its Employment Trends Index, and said that improvement in three of them was responsible for the slightly-improved bottom line. The areas included initial jobless claims, the percentage of firms with jobs they’re having difficulty filling, and real manufacturing and trade sales.