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Employment Trends Index edges down in November, but ‘gloom and doom’ views exaggerated

December 10, 2018

The Conference Board’s US Employment Trends Index declined slightly in November following an increase in October; however, the year-over-year change remains positive. The index slipped to a reading of 110.41 in November from 110.73 in October.

“The Employment Trends Index declined slightly this month and shows some moderation after reaching its highest point so far in August,” said Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “The gloom and doom views infecting the financial markets are an exaggeration. However, slower economic activity, tighter labor markets and higher labor costs are likely to lead to weaker job growth in 2019.

Levanon noted jobs should continue to grow, causing faster wage growth, which in turn may increase inflation pressure and ultimately result in a moderation in employment growth by the end of 2019.

“As a result, we expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates this month and possibly three more times in 2019,” Levanon said.

The Employment Trends Index is released on the Monday following the release of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment situation report. Last Friday’s report found the number of temp help services jobs in the US rose by 2.9% year over year in November. The number of employees hired by the temporary help industry is one of eight measures tracked in The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index.

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