The Conference Board Employment Trends Index inched slightly upward in May. This ETI figure measuring employment demand in the U.S. is 3.0 percent higher than a year ago.

“While the increase in the Index in May erased the small declines of the previous two months, overall growth in the ETI has remained weak,” said Gad Levanon, director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “Taken together with other recent indicators of economic activity, (it) is suggesting that a significant improvement in employment growth is unlikely this summer.”

ManpowerGroup's third-quarter 2013 Employment Outlook survey, released today, provides little evidence that global hiring plans are improving by any notable degree into the second half of the year. Uncertainty continues to hinder employer confidence across the globe.

The U.S. labor market remains upbeat, with the overall percentage of U.S. employers expecting to hire during the third quarter greater than at any point since before 2009. 

“Employers around the world are growing accustomed to unpredictable economic conditions,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO.

Technical notes to The Conference Board report are on its website. Results of the Manpower study are here in an interactive format.