Temporary staffing, after floating aimlessly for much of the summer and fall took a swift upswing last week to the highest levels since mid-2009.   This means temp staffing is up >5% YOY and ~1.4% from August ’12, a strong showing.

 

Here is the chart:
chart 1 1 624x216 Temp Staffing Jumps

 

Now we can’t deduce too much from one week as it is only one week and we do expect temp help to grow through year end.   It will be the YOY change we will pay attention to as well as the absolute #. I expect continued improvement and a modest YOY change. This is in keeping with the moderate growth outlook we have had all year and continue to have.

With housing recovering, auto sales expected to hit ~14.3M SAAR this year and 15M SAAR next year, odds of a recession are remote barring a huge systemic shock (prolonged war in middle east that makes oil go to $150, EU falls apart etc). We will continue to note that as long as we have increasing housing starts and increasing auto production, the US has never had a recession. Those saying we “are in one or entering one” no (ECRI?) are going against every economic cycle we have data for.  Since we see both housing continuing to expand and auto continuing to expand in ’12 and into ’13, it would take a large extraneous event to cause a recession (like listed above), not caused by the part of the business cycle we are currently in.

 

Here is the chart:

 

Capture625 624x378 Temp Staffing Jumps

 

Please note that both break and turn down well before a recession actually starts. Let’s not let those prone to hysteria or mellow dramatics scare you each time there is a monthly dip in either number.  They will ebb and flow.  But until we see a steady downward trend in both, a recession is not imminent.