Report Signals Potential Slowdown In U.S. Job Growth

The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index (ETI) experienced a notable decline from 112.16 in March to 111.25 in April, a shift that could potentially signal a slowdown in job growth during the second half of 2024. This significant downward trend in the index, a reliable indicator of employment trends, is causing considerable concern about the overall health of the U.S. economy.

Will Baltrus, an associate economist at The Conference Board, commented on the report’s findings, stating, “The ETI fell in April, a sign that employment growth could stall in the second half of 2024.” He noted that the index has been on a downward trajectory since its peak in March 2022, and this month’s data signal a continuation of that trend.

Despite the concerning trend, Baltrus highlighted that the ETI remains above its pre-pandemic level and is still historically elevated. This suggests that while a slowdown in employment growth is likely, aggregate job losses are less probable.

The report identified several factors contributing to the ETI’s decline, including negative changes in the percentage of respondents finding jobs complex to get the ratio of involuntary part-time workers to all part-time workers and the number of employees hired in temporary positions. The Conference Board projects that a slowdown in consumer demand for goods and services will be the primary driver of rising unemployment in the coming months.