Specifically, 57% of the recruiters surveyed (n = 143) expect improvement in the next six months, an increase of 16% month over month, and the third straight month of improvement. Only 19% expect improvement in the next three months, a slight increase over 18% last month. The implication, according to ExecuNet, is that companies are currently formulating hiring plans, but actual hiring won’t get traction until late 2010 or early 2011. As employment tends to improve later in the business cycle, this is fairly encouraging.
Notably, payrolls data released today shows that - although job losses continue to mount and the official unemployment rate now stands at 9.4% (“highest since 1983″ is the prevailing meme) – the rate of job losses is slowing.
All of these signs confirm what credit markets and unemployment claims have been indicating during the second quarter, and we continue to see a very high probability of the recession ending this year. In fact, there’s even a reasonable probability of the recession ending this quarter (ie, by the end of this month). And while it’s likely to be some time before we return to the level of economic activity that prevailed before this downturn, the rate of growth from current levels looks like it could surprise to the upside. The caveat, as before, is how durable the recovery will be, and on that count, we still see plenty of risks to the U.S. economy in late 2010 and beyond. Such a cycle would reminiscent of both the late 1970s and the late 1930s.