Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Are Jobs Hard to Get?

Ed Yardeni says they won't be for long.

Yardeni watches the numbers very closely and has been among the first to detect the Bernanke manipulated turn-around in the economy that I forecast, when Paul Krugman was screaming we were still in a Great Depression.

Here's Yardeni on jobs:
Are jobs hard to get? The answer to that question is provided once a month in the Conference Board’s survey of consumer confidence. I think that this is among the most important data generated by this survey and the similar one conducted by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan.

I am expecting to see fewer respondents to the Conference Board’s survey saying that jobs are hard to get. I reckon this will happen before mid-year. That’s because the response rate to this question tends to lag initial unemployment claims by about 6-12 months. During economic recoveries, the pace of firing tends to drop, as indicated by falling jobless claims. Then, with a lag, the pace of hiring starts to pick up, as indicated by the decline in the percentage of respondents saying that jobs are hard to get.

In other words, the initial unemployment claims series tends to be a leading indicator for the labor market. (It is, in fact, one of the 10 components of the index of leading economic indicators.) But it’s the jobs-hard-to-get series that confirms that labor market conditions are improving enough to have boosted net employment gains. Not surprisingly, the jobs-hard-to-get response is highly correlated with the number of unemployed workers.
Bottom line: If you are in the job market, keep those resumes flying, the big wave is about to hit.


  1. Damn, I hope you are right Robert. I didn't go to college (I probably shouldn't have gone to college ultimatley) and pursue numerous writing endeavors to stock shelves overnight at a department store.

  2. Bob, you do know that Yardeni has been wrong most of his career.

  3. rw, I have doubted you so far, but after this month I have to re-think everything. My company gets most of its work from the deal flow in the PE market and until now its been a trickle. This month, it seems like 2006 all over again. It seems the deal flow is going to pick up with a vengeance in 2012. I don't know if that's good for the guy in the street or if I am just one of the limited beneficiaries of fed money printing, so I'll keep my joy over this contained to this post. I know when I talk to my brother who has a business in the trades, things are still very slow and he has no pricing power.

  4. Well,

    Those that are equipped to have jobs will be able to get them. The problem lies in the fact that when the housing boom took place there were a lot of people who's "job" was related directly to housing. Construction, real estate agents, bankers etc. who may need a new skill set to survive now. Even those who simply bought and flipped will continue to suffer as will older people.

    I know of several people that were directly affected by housing and several others who were indirectly affected. Some are older now (40-60) who will have very little luck in finding anything remotely close to adequate. Also, a lot of these people are unwilling to take anything "less" than what they made before. Sheer ignorance. Unless we see a boom in consumer spending like we did in the past I don't know that these people will benefit. I guess it depends where Bernanke's money flows.

    Instead of spending the last 3-4 years looking for work people should have started over. Learn a new skill/trade or start your own business. I learned a new trade and now I'm profiting from debt management services and bankruptcies. You have to go with the flow sometimes. Even with this little "boom" we are about to enter people will still be losing their houses and those that don't will be subdued by massive amounts of unsecured debts.