Conference board
Conference board employment trends index for November 2021

The conference Board employment trends index for November 2021 rose to 114.49, up from 113.03 in October.

Gad Levanon, Head of Conference Board Labor Market Institute, said

“The Employment Trends Index continues to advance steadily, suggesting a decent outlook for job growth over the next several months. In that context, November’s disappointing payrolls growth may be an outlier rather than a new trend. Of course, this is contingent on the emerging Omicron variant—a new wildcard that threatens to extend COVID-19’s impacts on job growth beyond Delta."

He added:

“On its current trajectory, much of the job growth ahead should come from sectors still in the process of reopening, including restaurants, hotels, entertainment, personal services, and passenger transportation. These industries are relatively labor intensive, so their further recoveries will be key for sustaining strong job growth. At the same time, labor supply will struggle to meet the demand for workers, as the US working-age population stagnates and Baby Boomers drop out of the workforce. We currently project the unemployment rate—already down to 4.2 percent—to approach 3.0 percent by the end of 2022, which would mark a 70-year low. Indeed, even if pandemic disruptions to labor supply fully subside in the year ahead, a tight labor market is likely here for the foreseeable future. Employers should expect recruiting difficulties and quit rates to remain high, fueling the upward pressure on wages.”

The index was driven by positive contributions from six of the eight components:

  • initial claims,
  • industrial production ratio of involuntary part-time to all part-time workers,
  • job openings,
  • number of temporary employees,
  • real manufacturing, and
  • trade sales

Declining components included:

  • percentage of firms with positions not able to fill right now
  • percentage of respondents who said they find jobs hard to get

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