Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Another Chicken & Egg Story

When it comes to the economy it has always been about confidence (or so the talking heads tell us). To hear them tell it, it is almost like a self-fulfilling prophesy. If we as consumers think things are getting better, they get better. If we start to lose confidence, then the charts go the other way.

Every day in the papers (what few are left) or on the crawling headlines on CNBC or MSNBC not to mention tons of tweets, we get the word:

Index on pending housing sales has gone up. (yea)

Oil prices are heading up again. (boo)

Fewer banks failed this month. (yea)

Number of people filing on-going unemployment claims declines for first time since January. (yea)

Unemployment rate jumps to 9.4% (boo)

and on it goes....

So what are we to believe? Beats the hell out of me, but in case you hadn't stumbled across it yet, and since everyone likes to look at employment as a key indicator, check this out:

Recruiter Confidence Climbs To Highest Level In Eleven Months

ExecuNet's Recruiter Confidence Index (RCI) surged 16 points higher in May, as the executive search industry's outlook for the employment market improved for the third consecutive month amid signs that economic conditions are stabilizing. The RCI now stands at its highest level since June 2008.

Introduced in May 2003, the Recruiter Confidence Index is based on a monthly survey of executive search firms conducted by ExecuNet.

Designed to forecast job growth at the executive level, a reading above 50 percent indicates recruiters expect the number of search assignments in the next six months will increase. Independent analysis of the RCI has confirmed it is a leading indicator for the executive employment market
Yes, I know that the unemployment rate hit 9.4% and will likely keep going up for a while, nonetheless I am very encouraged by what our RCI is showing. Not just because it has made it back above 50, but more importantly because we firmly believe that it has proven to be a leading indicator as the copy above states.

I also know, based on our penchant for "instant" fixes, that there are still millions who are struggling to work through these tough times, and that the positive signs that we see (be they home-grown such as our own RCI data or whatever), the "good news" isn't going to happen fast enough.

Those who know me would probably tell you that I tend to be a half-empty type, but that is not my feeling at this point.

Manic? No. Euphoric? No. Feeling better? Yes. Press on, press on, press on!

1 comment:

Sathi Vanigasooriar said...


Housing market in Canada is also heading in this direction. Especially in Toronto. Makes me think about confidence, the role it plays in our lives. Any past trends you can shed?