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Employment trends index rebounds in October, points to acceleration in wage growth

November 05, 2018

The Conference Board’s US Employment Trends Index rose in October, following a decrease in the prior month. The index in October rose 4.6% year over year to a reading of 110.72, up from the downwardly revised reading of 110.39 in September.

“After last month’s decline, the Employment Trends Index bounced back and is signaling solid employment growth through the winter,” said Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “The main determinants of wage growth — economic growth, a tight labor market, faster inflation and labor productivity growth — are all aligning to accelerate wage growth.”

Levanon also noted higher labor costs are putting pressure on corporate profits and provide additional incentive for businesses to cut costs through efficiency gains and automation, as well as pass the higher costs on to consumers, fueling inflation.

“At the same time, higher interest rates will slow down the US economy in 2019,” Levanon said. “On the positive side, better labor market conditions are likely to continue to draw more workers from the sidelines and raise job satisfaction for existing workers.”

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 2.2% year over year in October. 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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