Workplace Issues

Conference Board Sees Flat Summer Hiring

The association&spamp;rsquo;s employment forecast differs from a more bullish outlook by CFOs issued last month, however. StaffJuly 9, 2012

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) dipped to 107.47 in June, down from the revised figure of 108.23 in May. The June figure, though, is 5.6% higher than it was a year ago.

“The Employment Trends Index has been flat since February, suggesting that slow employment growth is likely to continue through the summer,” says Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board, a membership research organization. “Since there is little hope of acceleration in the pace of economic activity anytime soon, these weak labor-market conditions are likely to persist for the coming months.”

Contrary to the index, however, CFOs say they still plan to hire at a relatively strong pace, according to the latest Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Outlook Survey. U.S. finance chiefs say they will expand their full-time domestic workforce by 2.5% on average during the next 12 months, a bump that could bring the unemployment rate to 7% from its current 8.2% by the end of the year.

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June’s drop in the ETI was driven by negative contributions from four of the eight components. The declining indicators — beginning with the largest negative contributor — were “Percentage of Firms with Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now,” “Ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers,” “Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance,” and “Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find ‘Jobs Hard to Get.’”

The Conference Board publishes the ETI monthly, at 10 a.m. ET on the Monday that follows each Friday release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Employment Situation report. The technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website.