Now, it usally does this time of year as it recovers from the post Christmas/New Year. What is of note is that index at 86 is currently 4% higher than at this time last year. This comes after both a shallower end of year drop and sharper beginning of year recovery that is the historical norm.

Given the ~3mos. lead time on the index to NFP, we are looking at improving employment conditions into March of 2012.

Now what is interesting is that ECRI in September ’11 said the “US was already tipping into recession” but they apparently give themselves a 6mos window. I don’t get how 6mos jives with “already tipping” but whatever. The point I make here is that these two data points contradict each other. While ECRI claims to be historically accurate (MISH begs to differ though). Either way, ECRI’s 6mos runs out Feb/March. I think they will be wrong. Why?

The last two recessions unsurpisingly featured a reduction in total US employment (see graph below). Preceeding that drop and recession was a reversal (dramatic) and a beginning of a decline in the temp help sector. So……if the temp help sector continues to climb, we can expect total employment to continue to climbs and… recession.

Capture439 624x383 Temp Staffing Index Continues to Climb...Conflicts With ECRI Forecast

Here is just the index as we usually track it

Capture437 624x223 Temp Staffing Index Continues to Climb...Conflicts With ECRI Forecast