Released today, The Conference Board Employment Trends Index signaled slowing but positive job growth in the months ahead. The measure edged downward to a reading of 119.77 in May from April’s upwardly revised reading of 120.60.
“The labor market may have less room for more growth with overall employment down only 0.5% compared to the pre-pandemic level,” said Agron Nicaj, associate economist at The Conference Board.
Both the “leisure and hospitality” and “in-person services” sectors have not completely recovered from Covid-related job losses, Nicaj said. As consumers continue to shift more spending from goods toward services, these industries are expected to witness employment growth.
“The labor market remains strong amid high inflation, and the Federal Reserve is likely to continue its focus on stabilizing prices as a result,” he said. However, “a strong response by the Fed risks higher unemployment rates by the end of 2022.”
The Conference Board releases its employment index the Monday following the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment bulletin report.