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Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index Falls in February

An index measuring employment trends fell in February from the month earlier, due to a negative contribution from respondents who say they find jobs hard to get, the Conference Board said in a report Monday.

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index was 108.96 in February, compared with a downwardly revised January measurement of 109.85. The index is down 1.3% from a year ago.

The Covid-19 outbreak had little effect on the index in February, said Gad Levanon, head of the Conference Board’s Labor Market Institute in prepared remarks.

“The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the labor market will depend on the amount of time it disrupts economic activity in the U.S.,” Mr. Levanon said.

If the economy picks up by April or May, the most noticeable effects in the coming months would be a drop in work hours and reduced hiring. If economic activity continues to stall by the early summer, companies will likely cut their workforce, he said.

The Conference Board said the indicators measuring the percentage of respondents who say jobs are hard to get, the ratio of involuntarily part-time to all part-time workers, job openings, initial claims for unemployment insurance and the number of employees hired by the temporary-help industry were the biggest drags to February’s numbers. There are eight indicators that go into the monthly index.
Source: Dow Jones

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