The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) rose in January by one percent to 93.2, the fifth consecutive month it has risen. However, it is down 0.7% from a year ago.

“The continued rise in the ETI makes us more optimistic that job growth will resume in the first quarter of 2010,” said Gad Levanon, associate director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board. “The improvement is widespread across all eight components. In particular, Friday’s large decline in the number of involuntary part-time workers was the first time this component showed a strong signal of improvement.”

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