First, the good news—moderately good news, at least. The Conference Board reported on Monday that its Employment Trend Index, which aggregates eight labor-market indicators, increased 0.66 percent in December to 104.32, from the revised figure of 103.64 in November. The December figure is also up 4.7 percent from the same month a year ago. Six of the index’s eight components were positive.
“Job growth is picking up some steam in the U.S.,” Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at the Conference Board, noted in a statement. “The Employment Trends Index has been signaling this growth for three straight months now. However, last Friday’s employment data—with a reported gain of 200,000 jobs in December—likely overstates the trend.”
In a bit of less-than-good news, however, CoreLogic reported on Monday that whatever steam the U.S. job market seems to be experiencing (overstated or not), that momentum hasn’t budged the housing market just yet. CoreLogic reported that its Home Price Index was down 1.4 percent month-over-month in November, and 4.3 percent compared with November 2010.
Read more...Economy Watch: Employment Trends Index Up; Home Prices Down via MHNonline