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US economy: employment trends, non-manufacturing indexes rise

May 05 2014

Among U.S. economic releases today, The Conference Board’s U.S. employment trends index rose, and separately, a measure of the U.S. non-manufacturing sector indicated business activity had increased in April from March.

The Conference Board’s U.S. employment trends index increased in April to a reading of 118.00, up from March’s upwardly revised reading of 117.77. The April reading is up 5.5 percent from the same month a year ago.

“April’s increase in the Employment Trends Index, and continued improvement in recent months, is signaling solid job growth through the summer,” said Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board.  “Despite the disappointing GDP figure for the first quarter, job growth remains robust and when coupled with the massive retirement of baby boomers will result in a continued rapid decline in the unemployment rate.”

Separately, the U.S. non-manufacturing sector grew in April at a faster rate than March, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index, released today. ISM’s non-manufacturing business activity index rose in April to a reading of 55.2, up from March’s reading of 53.1. Readings above 50 indicate growth.

However, the employment portion of the index fell to a reading of 51.3 in April, down from March’s reading of 53.6 percent.

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